INDIA – In the midst of a comprehensive review of its global manufacturing and supply network, AstraZeneca’s Indian subsidiary, AstraZeneca Pharma India, has announced plans to close its production plant in Bangalore.

The move is part of the company’s strategic restructuring and aims to auction the site to a buyer who can function as a contract manufacturer for AstraZeneca drugs.

The Bangalore facility, home to over 900 employees, has played a crucial role as the headquarters for AstraZeneca Pharma India’s commercial operations.

Supporting 51 global AstraZeneca brands, it also serves as the hub for manufacturing and clinical operations.

This decision follows the layoff of 103 sales staffers in AstraZeneca’s Indian primary care division earlier this year, prompting resistance from employees.

AstraZeneca, operating in India since 1979, acknowledges the impact of this change and emphasizes its commitment to employees and ensuring an uninterrupted supply of medicines. The Bangalore site is described as the “beating heart” of AstraZeneca’s India operations.

This move aligns with AstraZeneca’s global strategy, as seen in the sale of its West Chester, Ohio site last year.

The company’s evolving strategic priorities drive these decisions, showcasing its commitment to adaptability in the pharmaceutical landscape.

FDA greenlights breast cancer drug Truqap

In a separate development, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted approval for AstraZeneca’s Truqap (capivasertib) in combination with Faslodex (fulvestrant) for treating the most common type of breast cancer.

This approval, based on the Phase III CAPItello-291 trial, is significant for patients with hormone receptor (HR)-positive/HER2-negative locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer.

Truqap, a pan adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-competitive inhibitor, demonstrates promising results, reducing the risk of cancer progression or death by 50% compared to Faslodex alone.

HR-positive breast cancer constitutes the most prevalent subtype, and the approval provides a new treatment option for patients who have progressed on endocrine therapy or experienced recurrence.

The regulatory journey for Truqap continues, with applications under review in the European Union, China, and Japan.

Astex Therapeutics, a partner in the development, is set to receive a milestone payment from AstraZeneca following the drug’s commercial sale, marking a significant advancement in breast cancer treatment options.

AstraZeneca’s entry into the competitive market for HR+ Her2-negative breast cancer treatment positions Truqap alongside established players like Pfizer’s Ibrance, Eli Lilly’s Verzenio, and Novartis’ Kisqali.

Following the approval, AstraZeneca’s oncology business executive vice-president Dave Fredrickson said: “This approval provides a critical new option for patients in the US with this specific type of disease and we look forward to bringing Truqap to the many breast cancer patients who can benefit across the globe.”

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