is launching operations in the U.S., with an office in RTP that a former Tranzyme Pharma executive has been hired to manage.

Advinus, which is based in Bangalore, India, is part of the international business conglomerate TATA Group. Advinus focuses on drug discovery and also offers contract research services.

Eric Nelson joins Advinus as global head of business development, marketing and strategy. A veteran with more than 20 years of experience in the life science business, Nelson had served as vice president for business development and licensing at Triangle-based Tranzyme. He earlier worked for drug giant Wyeth Pharmaceuticals as assistant vice president for business development.

“Having Eric as our head of business development in the U.S. would help bridge the distance that most U.S. companies feel when working with R&D companies in this part of the world,” said Rajiv Malik, senior vice president for business operations at Advinus. “Now a U.S. based company does not have to wait till the end of business day for them to be able to talk to us.”