Biolab opens R&D site and plans to open a manufacturing plant in Canada

Jornal Valor Econômico Impresso e Online | 10/31/2017
Biolab Farmacêutica is speeding up its internationalization project. The laboratory opens today the doors of the first research and development site (R&D) outside Brazil, in the province of Ontario, Canada, and in the next two or three years, it intends to open a drug manufacturing plant in that country. A result from investments of 56 million Canadian dollars (around US$ 45 million), the site will work as a technological platform for laboratory advance, the first one with 100% national capital to set up a R&D site in other country, in international markets.

A strong culture of innovation and agility to approve researches and new products, which already leave Canada with an automatic registry in countries that are part of British Community, took Biolab there, according to president Cleiton de Castro Marques. "Agility was the boosting factor to us", he affirms. Previously, the Brazilian laboratory thought about New Jersey in the United States as an alternative to investment, but the structure offered by the Canadians was decisive. "Initially, we are going to replicate in Canada the researches we have been conducting in Brazil, to produce strong dossiers [to approve products] in highly regulated markets." Researches in progress in Brazil will be also conducted by Biolab Canada. Initially, the site will count on a team of 60 researchers until the end of the first phase, all of them hired in Canadian market. Paulo Wickbold Marques, a second-generation representative in charge of Biolab, will be responsible for general direction of the unit. According to the businessman, Agência Nacional de Vigilância Sanitária (Anvisa) has been already operating rigorously with regard to regulation and has made progress in discussions about innovation, but processes are still quite slow. "It is a policy still under construction, in progress" he says. In Canada, it is easier to make progress in R&D, he adds.

The Brazilian pharmaceutical company is already present in international markets, by licensing of products. But it does not have its own production in other countries yet. The interest of Biolab in that country is not isolated. In an interview to Valor, the trade consul of Ontario, Todd Barret, affirmed that seven of the greatest pharmaceutical companies of Brazil, including Biolab, are talking to local government. These negotiations can, in medium-term, result in investments similar to those of the pharmaceutical company of Cleiton and Paulo de Castro Marques. In addition to having big pharmaceutical companies of the world, the Canadian province made use of financial incentives to be consolidated as an innovation hub of the sector. In case of Biolab, Ontario government will make available 2.8 million Canadian dollars to expenditures related to research and development. According to Barrett, the resources are probably from a fund created in 2013 aiming at promoting R&D activity and attracting projects in areas of clinical assay, pharmaceutical researches and biotechnology start-ups. The government also offers a program of tax claim, which may result in a reduction of at least 15% of income tax. "The government is strongly interested in boosting pharmaceutical industry", he affirms.
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