Alvogen, a privately-owned, US-based pharmaceutical company focused on complex generics, has set up a clinical research organisation (CRO) in Bangalore, India.

The CRO will be managed by Alvogen’s subsidiary Norwich Pharmaceuticals, a contract manufacturer and packaging provider for prescription and OTC medicines, under the name Norwich Clinical Services. Alvogen has also established a sourcing office for active pharmaceutical ingredients in Bangalore, which is expected to cement the company’s relationships with Indian raw material suppliers.

Norwich Clinical Services will offer a full range of clinical research capabilities to Alvogen and third parties, including Phase I-IV trials, bio-analytical studies and pharmacovigilance monitoring. The plan is to recruit up to 100 professionals in India to staff the business over the next 12 months.

Managing director of the new CRO is Dr Sarai Thangam, who has more than 15 years’ experience in clinical trials. Before joining Alvogen, Thangam was managing director of Lotus Labs in India from 2006-2010.

Lotus is a clinical research organisation established in 2001. It is also based in Bangalore and is owned by generic pharmaceutical company Actavis. Robert Wessman, executive chairman of Alvogen, used to be chief executive officer of the Actavis Group, which he left in August 2008.

Sudhir Pai, co-founder and former managing director of Lotus, has also joined Norwich Clinical Services to support the Alvogen group’s expansion in India, as has Fjalar Kristjansson.

“Our goal is to build a world-class CRO in India that can enhance our global R&D work,” Wessman commented. “After years of experience with the Indian team in creating and growing Lotus, we look forward to expanding our new business in India.”