US medical equipment, products and services company Thermo Fisher Scientific is expanding its clinical trial supply capabilities with a new $17 million facility in Ahmadabad, India.

The company has broken ground on the 100,000sq ft facility, which it expects to open by spring 2008, adding some 100 employees in the first year of operation. The unit will focus on packaging, distributing and managing pharmaceutical samples for patients taking part in clinical trials worldwide. Thermo Fisher Scientific’s Fisher Clinical Services business already runs state-of-the-art packaging facilities in Allentown and Chicago (US), Horsham (UK), Basel (Switzerland) and Singapore.

“Large pharmaceutical companies are focusing more and more on India for their future clinical research and development programmes,” noted Marijn Dekkers, president and chief executive officer of Thermo Fisher Scientific. “They are looking to outsource their clinical trials management to partners who know how to work within changing regional and global clinical trial regulations. By expanding our capacity to serve the needs of both multinational and local pharmaceutical companies, we will be able to bring a higher level of technology, quality and expertise to facilitate clinical trials.”

Thermo Fisher has been stepping up its activities in India over the past few years, adding sales and manufacturing facilities to support growing markets including biopharma services and biospecimen storage, life sciences research and industrial processing. The US company recently acquired Qualigens Fine Chemicals in Mumbai, a former division of GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals Ltd described as “India’s largest laboratory chemical manufacturer and supplier”.