THE FINANCIAL EXPRESS
September 08, 2003

Sami Labs Plans Pharma Foray


KAVITHA ALEXIS &
KP SETHUNATH
Bangalore.

Bangalore based Sami Labs, a key player in nutraceuticals and herbal extract exports, plans to make a major foray into the pharmaceutical segment by setting up a Rs 40-crore US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved facility in Bangalore.

The company, with a group turnover of around Rs 225 crore, has also appointed Ernst & Young (E&Y) to prepare a roadmap for a comprehensive revamp of its corporate structure.
Speaking to FE, Sami Labs managing director Muhammed Majeed said the move to enter the pharma sector was prompted by the potential for generic drugs post-2005. “By 2005, a number of drugs will go off patent and this will open up a huge opportunity in generic drugs for pharma companies. So we think this is the right strategy to tap a share market,” he said.

He said it would not be difficult for the company to make an entry into the pharma market. “We are already into a similar kind of business. With pharma we are going to be a comprehensive player in the health care industry,” he said. Sami Labs exports nutraceutical ingredients to many countries. It also has subsidiaries in countries like US ( Sabinsa Corporation), the UK and Japan.

“With this track record, access to pharma market will be much easier for Sami Labs,” Dr Majeed said. On E&Y’s mandate Dr Majeed said at present the group is having subsidiaries in the US, Japan and the UK. “We are planning to bring all under a single brand umbrella. So E&Y was appointed to prepare a roadmap for it,” he added.

The company is also looking at the possibility of setting up a herbal extraction plant in Kerala and is currently in talks with the authorities, he said.