India’s diversified Piramal Healthcare group has acquired a majority stake in Oxygen Bio Research Private Limited (Oxygen Healthcare), a discovery services specialist based on the Cambridge Science Park in the UK and with a research centre in Ahmedabad, India. 

Piramal is paying Rs 51.29 crore (US$11.3 million for 76% of Oxygen Bio Research, which it describes as a provider of integrated discovery services in synthetic chemistry, medicinal chemistry, computational chemistry and in vitro biology.

The acquisition is being made through the wholly owned subsidiary Piramal Pharmaceutical Development Services Private Limited, which is part of the Indian company’s Pharma Solutions division.

Oxygen Healthcare was set up in May 2003 by chief executive officer Sunil Shah, who was previously director of business development at Cambridge Biotechnology, and by chief operating officer Prashant Shah.

The initial remit was to provide strategic consulting, investment advisory and business development services to clients operating in the field of drug discovery and biotechnology.

Following the expansion to India, the UK office now focuses on logistical, communications and project management support. The research centre in Ahmedabad services clients from across the European Union, the US and Japan.

Last September, Piramal completed the sale of its domestic drug formulations business to Abbott Healthcare.