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Apr 1, 2009 (Vol. 29, No. 7)

Traditional Strengths Solidify Chilean Biotech Industry

South American Country Makes Name for Itself in Clinical Trials and Aquaculture

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    Synthon’s new Chilean facility is expected to be operational in 2011 and employ 50 to 70 people.

    Synthon Holding, a fully integrated specialty pharmaceutical company that specializes in follow-on biologics and generics, opened facilities in Chile “to increase our South American presence,” according to Jack Nijssen, evp and COO. “To be as close to the market as possible, we established a hub to develop and manufacture for that market and for international markets.”

    Before choosing Chile, “we looked at several possibilities,” Nijssen continues. Chile has economic and social stability, a skilled workforce, a simple and favorable tax system, multiple trade agreements, and CORFO.” Synthon currently is building an approximately $24 million facility that is expected to be operational by the second quarter of 2011 and employ 50 to 70 full-time-equivalent personnel.

    Monsanto also has a history in Chile. More than 500 of its 22,000 employees are located there, according to Rashmir Nair, Ph.D., team leader, international cultivation, global regulatory affairs. Dr. Nair says Chile was Monsanto’s springboard for Latin America.

    “It has an advanced information technology infrastructure, low overall labor costs, and “the business ethics are pretty great.” Monsanto does its multiseason seed production for the world there, and the winter seed production for corn and soybeans. And, as home to the Atacama Desert, “it’s great for drought research.” (Some parts of that desert haven’t seen rain for at least 20 million years.)

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