Pharma Company - Piramal
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Piramal opens new state of the art site to help against cancer

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With recent investment from HSBC UK, pharmaceutical company Piramal Pharma Solutions can keep up with the increasing demand for chemotherapy drugs

UK’s Head of Research and Development, Conor Barry and Senior Vice President of Finance at PPS, Chris Leahy

“Cancer is a pernicious disease,” says Piramal Pharma Solution (PPS) UK’s Head of Research and Development, Conor Barry, as he reflects on the rapid way the cancer and chemotherapy environment has shifted in recent times.

He made the stark remark from the pharmaceutical group’s newest offering in Grangemouth, Scotland – an investment the company thought necessary to keep up with demands in the medical world.

Headquartered in India, PPS is a global organisation with seven pharmaceutical sites in India. There are also further offerings in the US and Canada, totalling 17 development and manufacturing facilities worldwide. In 2005, PPS’s international expansion reached the UK with an initial site in Grangemouth and a year later came a second in Morpeth.

As the global drug industry innovates at pace, PPS’s clients are keen to keep up and meet demands. To meet these needs, the company took out a loan of $21m from HSBC UK to build a new offering in Grangemouth featuring state-of-the art labs and manufacturing suites.

International ties

It’s been a journey that has cemented the strong relationship HSBC UK has with PPS, not only in the UK, but in India too.

Chris Leahy, Senior Vice President of Finance at PPS, found the relationship to be one of “support”, both in times of challenge and good.

He said “Piramal UK and Piramal India working with HSBC UK and HSBC India seize opportunities that arise and deal with any challenges that come around. HSBC UK have worked with us very closely to come up with the right support package to enable us to get investment for the Grangemouth expansion.”

A home for advanced clinical trials

The new site is an important offering for PPS, as they work with their customers to manufacture drugs in a controlled manner for clinical trials.

Conor explained that his team at PPS make “a class of biologic drugs” that are a form of advanced therapeutics called antibody-drug conjugates.

He explained: “An antibody drug conjugate, we believe, is a little bit like a precision-guided bomb. It delivers powerful chemotherapy directly to the tumour cell - and only to the tumour cells. So, it should reduce any side effects whilst increasing the efficacy of this chemotherapeutic.”

The field is one that is expanding rapidly, and Conor believes that the Grangemouth site will help “deliver future drugs to patients who really need them”.

HSBC UK’s support for PPS’s biggest expansion

HSBC UK New Piramal Site in Grangemouth

The new site in Grangemouth is another string to PPS’s bow, while also highlighting the strong relationship between the company and HSBC that goes back many years and is something that has stood the test of time.

Chris said: “HSBC supported us with finance for multiple capital expenditure programmes and investments that we've made over the years. More recently, the Grangemouth site is our biggest expansion across any of our global PPS sites.

“I think if it was just HSBC UK working with PPS UK, they would just look purely at the UK arm’s financial position and then make a financing decision. But when you bring in the wider parent, they can look at the wider business, the wider relationship and they can make a different assessment and choose the right support package.”

HSBC’s Relationship Director Rachel Woodall added: “PPS and HSBC enjoy a strong long-standing relationship both in the UK and internationally. It has been wonderful supporting the building of their new state of the art pharmaceutical factory at Grangemouth, which will improve PPS’s ability to develop new clinical products and support cancer drug trials.”

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