Advinus Therapeutics, a contract discovery and development company based in Bangalore, India and serving the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and agrochemical industries, has launched a wholly owned subsidiary in the US.

Advinus already has a “large and growing” client base in the US as well as drug discovery and development collaborations with companies such as Merck & Co and, more recently, Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals. One of the main reasons for starting operations in the US is “to build on these relationships and to expand into new ones”, noted Dr Rashimi Barbhaiya, the Indian company’s chief executive officer and managing director.

The US arm, Advinus Therapeutics Inc, is based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. Also based there will be Dr Eric Nelson, appointed by Advinus as global head of business development, marketing and strategy with responsibility for managing the US operations. Nelson joins the Indian company from Tranzyme Pharma, where he was vice president of business development and licensing. He was previously assistant vice president of global business development at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals.

Having Nelson located in North Carolina will “help bridge the distance that most US companies feel when working with R&D companies in this part of the world,” commented Rajiv Malik, Advinus’ senior vice president and head of business operations. “Now a US-based company does not have to wait until the end of the business day for them to be able to talk to us.”