Pharma Biz

November 01, 2003

Sami Labs initiates contract farms for medicinal plants

Sami Labs Ltd., health science multinational, has initiated the contract farming for medicinal plants. The company would provide technical expertise, facilitate loans and insurance cover for the crops by entering a buy-back agreement with the farmers.

The company started backward integration in 1999, and today has more than 4000 hectares of land under medicinal plant cultivation.

"We have started with the cultivation of coleus forskohlii used globally for lean body mass management properties. Cardiovascular and orthopaedic care remain areas of focus for us to further identify and cultivate medicinal plants in India. Sami's intellectual process for active ingredient isolation and properties enhancement will make a significant difference to the current plant-based healthcare market," Dr Muhammed Majeed, Chairman and Managing Director, Sami Labs Limited said.

Sami Labs' has invested Rs 6.crore in its R&D facility located at Bangalore which has a strength of over 100 scientists. In the area of biotech research in probiotics it is expected to rollout products by the end of 2004. With an active patent regime, the company hopes to infuse significant R&D funds in its pursuit of developing new products.

The company's three new active ingredients -Tetrahydrocurcuminoids (THC), Coleus oil and ZeaLutien have been approved for the dermatology, infective and geriatric ophthalmology markets. The three active ingredients in nutraceuticals and cosmeceuticals formulations have a combined estimated potential market size of Rs 20 crore.

Sami Labs now has a total of international 27 patents - 9 approved, 3 allowed and 15 pending.

Sami Labs has so far invested close to Rs 60 crore in four production units at Bangalore, Singasandra, Kunigal and Mysore. The company is targeting Rs. 100 crore turnover for its formulations business in India by the close of 2006.