In a statement, the company said its subsidiary, Abbott Nutrition, will set up the centre in partnership with Syngene, a contract research subsidiary of Biocon, and leading domestic biotech company.
The centre will be established in June of this year, the US giant said, and pool more than 50 researchers from Syngene and Abbott.
“The Abbott Nutrition R&D Center in India will focus on the development of science-based, affordable nutrition products for the country and enable the expansion of Abbott's nutrition product portfolio there,” Abbott said.
The focus will be on “the development of nutrition products for maternal and child nutrition and diabetes care,” it added, as at least 570 million Indians are not consuming sufficient levels of essential nutrients.
“India also has the world's largest diabetes population, with an estimated 51 million people living with diabetes. Among the products being developed for the Indian market are meal complements for diabetics and pre-diabetics,” Abbott said.
Rehan Khan, managing director at Abbott Nutrition India, said that Health care in India has reached a tipping point as “patients seek quality care and products at affordable prices.”
In addition, the center will also address local taste and texture preferences with new flavors and formulations, the statement said.
In addition to the lack of nutrition and diabetes issues facing India, a rapidly expanding middle class and aging population are driving increased demand in the country for high-quality, affordable nutrition products, Abbott detailed.
Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, founder, chairman and managing director, Biocon Group, said that the nutrition market in India is growing steadily.
She said that the market insights and nutrition science expertise of both organisations will enable malnutrition and chronic diseases across the country to be addressed.
Abbott currently offers a variety of nutritional products in India including baby food product PediaSure, infant formula Similac, adult nutritional Ensure and Glucerna for diabetics.