NPIL Pharma - Serving the needs of global healthcare

An acquisition deal between two pharmaceutical manufacturers, one in India and one in the UK, has resulted in a global firm that now offers a comprehensive range of customised healthcare services.

NPIL Pharma is the new global brand in custom manufacturing for the healthcare sector. The business was formed by the integration of Avecia's pharmaceuticals business and the custom manufacturing operations of Nicholas Piramal India Limited (NPIL) in December 2005. The Avecia acquisition is part of NPIL's strategic plan to become a top-tier global player in the pharma custom services sector, with a commitment to creating value for customers across the full drug development life cycle.

NPIL's business model is to lead a long-term strategic shift in the development and manufacture of APIs and intermediates, by integrating flexible, cost-effective formulation and manufacturing capability in India with acquired European and North American centres of excellence in early-phase technologies and production assets.

Comprehensive capabilities

NPIL Pharma's scale-up and development business (including the Canadian-based Torcan subsidiary) offers a comprehensive range of chemistry services to support preclinical and clinical development of APIs and intermediates through to commercial manufacture. With extensive large-scale assets in Europe and India, including a high-potency manufacturing suite for cytotoxic APIs, NPIL Pharma offers a highly flexible, cost-effective, commercial manufacturing service.

The full capability mix distinguishes NPIL Pharma as one of the few custom manufacturing organisations offering forward integrated formulation from API/intermediates development and manufacture into final dosage forms.

Technological portfolio

The acquisition of Avecia Pharmaceuticals brings an enviable portfolio of chemical, biological and manufacturing technology that has been developed over many years, including chiral catalysts, biotransformations and continuous process technology. This has opened up exciting new opportunities for NPIL Pharma to leverage value from its newly acquired technologies by using them in combination with a flexible, cost-effective manufacturing position in India and Europe.

NPIL Pharma offers technologies for use across the full drug life cycle, from products in preclinical development to those in the sunset phase. Technology in the preclinical area must be quick and easy to use, and NPIL Pharma has invested heavily to enable greater use of 'off the shelf' technology. In the clinical development stage of a drug, the technology must show potential for economic benefit, be predictable and easy to implement and may also provide a proprietary process. For the manufacture of a launched drug, the technology focus is on economy and robustness.

At all stages of a drug development, NPIL Pharma works closely with customers to develop solutions appropriate to their needs and provides mutual benefits.

Core technologies

Catalytic asymmetric transfer hydrogenation (CACHy) catalysts are used in the asymmetric cyanation of aldehydes to make cyanohydrins. These, in turn, are used to make many different molecules, such as chiral hydroxyacids, amino acids and heterocycles. CACHy is NPIL Pharma's flagship technology. Developed over the last five years, it is now applied on a large scale. The chemistry is based on Noyori metal catalysis and makes a broad range of chiral alcohols and amines via transfer hydrogenation. The reactions do not require hydrogen so they are not run under pressure, and the catalysts are air and moisture stable.

SCRAM catalysts are a new development used for the racemisation of chiral amines. An exciting aspect of this is the ability to combine these catalysts to carry out dynamic kinetic resolution of amines, thus overcoming one of the main problems of isomer resolution, the low yield.

Biocatalysis is an area of long-standing interest and NPIL Pharma has a number of developed technologies, including dehalogenase for resolution of C3 and C4 2-haloacid isomers, dehydrogenase for asymmetric reduction of ketones, and dioxygenase for making cis-1,2-cyclohex-3,5-diene diols. The company operates a number of full-scale biotranformations.

In addition to these technologies, NPIL Pharma has a number of catalogue products available for commercial use.

Products and Services

Contact Details

NPIL Pharma

Make An Enquiry
First Name

Last Name

Email Address


Privacy Policy
We have updated our privacy policy. In the latest update it explains what cookies are and how we use them on our site. To learn more about cookies and their benefits, please view our privacy policy. Please be aware that parts of this site will not function correctly if you disable cookies. By continuing to use this site, you consent to our use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy unless you have disabled them.