Neopharma expands into new areas
Abu Dhabi, October 4, 2009
Neopharma, the Abu Dhabi-based pharmaceuticals manufacturer, today announced plans to enter into biotechnology and nanotechnology-based research and manufacturing capabilities.
The announcement came at a press conference held concurrently with the groundbreaking ceremony for the new facilities.
The events were held under the patronage and in the presence of Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, UAE Minister for Higher Education and Scientific Research, and chairman of Neopharma.
Elaborating on the series of new expansions, Abdullah Humaid Al Mazroei, vice-chairman, and Dr B R Shetty, managing director and CEO, said the new facilities will form an integral part of the company’s horizontal integration process to produce additional pharmaceutical dosage forms and mark its foray into high-technology based research and development (R&D).
Neopharma’s new plants will facilitate the manufacture of nutraceuticals, injectable preparations, topical applications, ophthalmic products and aerosols.
In addition, manufacturing lines are being set up for an important group of antibiotic drugs called ‘cephalosporins’. Such plants call for dedicated facilities and Neopharma has allocated separate areas for both oral and injectable variations.
With an investment outlay of Dh250 million, the new facilities will be designed on the guidelines recommended by the US FDA. Equipment for the expansion is being sourced from the best-in-class companies worldwide and commercial production is expected to begin within 14 months, said a statement.
Dr Shetty said: “Companies across the globe are reluctant to start new initiatives due to the impact of recession. Yet, at Neopharma, we have been aggressively pressing ahead with our organic growth initiatives that remain crucial to the future of the company. The immense support of Bank of Baroda, the lead financing partner in this project, is a significant stimulus that complements our efforts.
“The success of pharmaceutical companies depends to a large extent on the ability to introduce new and novel therapies. We believe our investments in this area will provide the necessary impetus for sustainable growth.”
Dr Shetty added: “Businesses must adopt the organic route to improve and sustain the nation’s manufacturing capabilities. This is our social responsibility – to create, develop and sustain the economic foundation for the good of future generations.”
Neopharma’s in-house R&D efforts saw the introduction of products in sustained release formats and includes medications for diabetes and the management of angina. The joint venture with biotechnology major Biocon heralded the introduction of a novel nanotech-based oncology product Abraxane that is used in the treatment of breast cancer.
Last week, the company received approval for the manufacture of BR Flu – Oseltamivir for the treatment of H1N1 infections. The product is an outcome of its joint venture with the pharma major Hetero Drugs and the entire range of formulations are expected to be ready shortly, the statement said.
The new initiatives are expected to help the company obtain an early lead in nanotechnology based devices. With parallel work already initiated, Neopharma will be the first company to start filing patents for such devices, it said.
In addition, Neopharma’s state-of-the-art facilities are designed to provide the right training opportunities for students in the country and help create a professional talent pool. – TradeArabia News Service