US company to invest Rs.5 bn in Punjab vaccine plant

November 4th, 2008 - 9:17 pm ICT by IANS  

Chandigarh, Nov 4 (IANS) Notwithstanding the global economic meltdown, US-based animal health pharmaceutical company Merial Tuesday signed an agreement with the Punjab government to set up a Rs.5 billion ($100 million) Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) vaccine manufacturing project.The new 20-acre plant is being set up at Lalru in Punjab’s Mohali district, 25 km from here.

Merial president Jean-Louis Crosia said it was the only pharmaceutical company exclusively devoted to animal health.

He said the company was an innovation-driven animal health company providing a comprehensive range of products to enhance the health, well-being and performance of animals.

Merial is a joint venture between pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co. Inc. (US) and Sanofi-Aventis (France).

The Punjab plant will be the fourth FMD vaccine manufacturing plant in India, Crosia said. He said the first phase of the plant would be functional by 2010 and the whole plant will be complete by 2013.

Crosia revealed that Merial would set up a Rs 2.5 billion research and development facility in India to explore the country’s domestic requirements of FMD vaccine.

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