STOCKHOLM—The two largest biotechnology companies in Sweden have set up foreign research centers to compensate for a shortage of trained scientists at home.

Pharmacia is developing a center for genetic engineering research in La Jolla, Calif., while Astra has recently opened a research facility in Bangalore, India. Both centers will be staffed by local scientists.

"We cannot find the right people here in Sweden," said Sune Rosell, head of research and development for Astra. The company placed advertisements in the scientific press aimed specifically at Indian researchers in the recombinant DNA and molecular biology field, and received about 100 replies. "In Sweden," Rosell said, "the same advertisement would have brought in about 10 applicants."

Astra's new facility will concentrate on research into DNA techniques, cloning and protein chemistry, areas it has been unable to pursue for want of research expertise in Sweden. Its scientists have begun to look into DNA...

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