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Wilton's a tonic for Piramal drugs team.

Byline: KAREN McLAUCHLAN

A DRUG development and manufacturing company is keeping its roots on Teesside after moving into the Wilton Centre.

Staff working for the biocatalysis division of Piramal Healthcare had feared they might have to move out of Tees Valley after more than 20 years when the lease of premises in Billingham came to an end.

But the team has now moved into a laboratory complex at Wilton.

Robert Holt, director of Biocatalysis, said: "Depending on business developments, we hope to expand our permanent team over the next few years which may require expansion into additional laboratory space. The Wilton Centre has the capacity to enable us to do this without having to move again."

He added: "Being close to the Centre For Process Innovation's (CPI) National Industrial Biotechnology Facility (NIBF), which is also based at the Wilton Centre, is a nice bonus as there is likely to be considerable synergy between what we both do."

Piramal Healthcare is an integrated pharmaceutical company involved in drug discovery, drug development, manufacture and marketing of pharmaceutical products.

Its biocatalysis division originated in ICI Billingham as part of its pharmaceutical activities but, as the company fragmented, the division has evolved through Zeneca and Avecia before being bought from Avecia by Piramal Healthcare in 2005.

The business is now occupying a 1,000sq ft lab at the Wilton Centre as well as an office and storage area.

The team based at Wilton has experience of biocatalysis stretching back 20 years and in addition to running its own projects will be involved in directing a satellite biocatalysis group based at the company headquarters in Mumbai, India. As part of the operations, visitors from the Mumbai laboratory will be hosted for extended periods to work on joint projects and share experience.

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FORMULA FOR SUCCESS: Wilton Centre accommodation manager, Steve Duffield, left, with Robert Holt, Director of Biocatalysis for Piramal Healthcare
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Nov 24, 2009
Words:317
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