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Cancer drugmaker Bristol Myers to build its largest R&D facility outside US in India by 2025


HYDERABAD: Bristol Myers Squibb aims to expand its research and development presence in India and expects its newly inaugurated Hyderabad facility to become its largest unit outside the U.S. by 2025, CEO Christopher Boerner said on Tuesday.

The $100-million facility, inaugurated by Boerner on Monday, is expected to employ over 1,500 employees and will be used to enhance its drug development through the use of digital technologies and artificial intelligence, he said in his keynote speech at the BioAsia conference.

Bristol Myers also operates a research and development centre in Bengaluru in partnership with the Biocon Group’s Syngene International.

The cancer-focused U.S. drugmaker is currently developing next-generation cell therapies for autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis and plans to use AI technologies to accelerate the development, Boerner said.

The company plans to make these more widely available, including in markets such as India, he added.

Bristol Myers is yet to launch its cancer cell therapies Abecma and Breyanzi in the country, but its other cancer drugs such as nivolumab and ipilimumab are sold under the brand names Opdyta and Yervoi. A spokesperson for the company did not immediately respond to Reuters request for comment on availability of Abecma and Breyanzi in India. The company expects its top-selling drugs such as blood thinner Eliquis and cancer immunotherapy Opdivo to lose patent protection in key markets later this decade and announced a string of deals late last year to restock its drug development pipeline.

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