THE HINDU BUSINESS LINE
Sunday, Apr 24, 2005

Symbol of Success -Innovation
Integration of Cutting Edge Technology and
Traditional knowledge

Dr Muhammed Majeed A Man Without boundaries for medical advancement .

Dr Muhammed Majeed is a native of Kollam in Kerala, who made it big in the United States , thanks to his commitments to work, professionalism and hardwork.

After taking B Pharm from Trivandrum Medical College , Dr Majeed went to America in 1975 where he took MS in Pharmacy and PhD in Industrial Pharmacy. He worked in some major pharma companies like Pfizer Inc, Carter-Wallace and Paco Research which earned him valuable experience in the latest technology in drug formulations. Later he dictated his own career by successfully integrating the latest technology with traditional Indian practice of medicine called Ayurveda. It was the beginning of a new success story. He came out with a new line of products based on Ayurveda, where the actives for the drugs were extracted from the herbs.

It was Dr Muhammed Majeed, who introduced to the Americans the curative effects of the time tested Ayurvedic treatment popular in India . The persistent efforts made by Dr Majeed in the early nineties in the field of Ayurveda had its effect on the Americans. They started recognizing the potential of Ayurveda and called it the Alternative medicine. By 2000 it became Complementary medicine and now it is known as Integrated medicine. Dr. Majeed is a pioneer in the field of nutraceuticals, which the people in the West look to, for quality of life.

Sabinsa Corporation based out of US, yet another company incorporated by Dr Muhammed Majeed is the international marketing arm of Sami Labs Limited.

Sami Labs Limited is a research based transnational organization which has successfully integrated cutting edge technology with deep-rooted traditional Indian knowledge. In an economy driven by knowledge and innovation, Sami Labs has to its credit 19 US and international patents. With subsidiaries in the USA , Japan , Australia , South Africa and the Middle East , Sami Labs is involved in the manufacturing and exporting extracts of botanical extracts including herbal and spice extracts as well as pharmaceutical intermediates and fine chemicals.

Sami was established by a scientist-cum- entrepreneur, Dr. Muhammed Majeed in 1991 as a small scale unit in Singasandra, Bangalore . Within a short span of 5 years, the company achieved an impressive export turnover. The company has several manufacturing units in Karnataka, namely at Singasandra, Kunigal and Mysore where various fine chemicals and herbal extracts are manufactured in compliance with cGMP standards. Sami has a team of highly qualified scientists who work in fully equipped R&D and Quality Control laboratories at Peenya, Bangalore . These laboratories are recognized by the Government of India.

Research and Development Arm

The Research and Development unit of Sami Labs Limited is located at Peenya in Bangalore . The Research and Development team is committed towards the development of quality herbal extracts, fine chemicals, specialty chemicals and cosmeceuticals through innovative research. Besides this they are also involved in the research of New Drug Discovery. In addition to the research and development facilities, Sami Labs has full-fledged laboratories in the areas of Phytochemistry, Organic Chemistry, Tissue Culture, Biotechnology and Quality Control.

Standardized Herbal Extracts

This division is involved in the isolation and development of active ingredients from herbs for various therapeutic applications. They are also into providing custom requirements for the clients with regard to purity of herbal extracts and development of new products.

Plant Biotechnology

The focus here is mainly on rare medicinal plants, which will require large-scale cultivation. The scientists over here isolate the high-yielding varieties and multiply them through tissue culture techniques in the laboratory.

Agricultural Priorities

More than 14,000 acres of medicinal plant cultivation is undertaken by Sami Labs in different parts of India for Coleus forskohlii (Coleus), Curcuma longa (Turmeric), Trifolium pretense (Red clover), Melissa officinalis (Lemon balm) and Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary)

Nutraceuticals

Some of the herbal extracts that are manufactured at Sami Labs have nutraceutical properties also. A nutraceutical product is any food or a food supplement that has medicinal or health benefits.

Synthetic Chemistry

The thrust at Sami Labs is mainly on Nutraceuticals. A Nutraceutical product can be developed either through a natural source or it can be derived synthetically. Sami Labs has set up a strong synthetic chemistry division to manufacture some of these synthetically derived nutraceuticals and drugs.

Sami Labs' expertise in synthetic chemistry extends from simple Friedel Crafts reaction to complex Asymmetric Synthesis. Sami has an excellent analytical testing facility, which is the core strength for Synthetic Chemistry.

This division currently works on:

Development of drug and drug intermediates

  • Development of seleno amino acids and other nutraceuticals
  • Development of steroidal molecules
  • Development of peptides for cosmeceuticals

 

Fermentation Technology

Sami Labs entered the biotechnological age with the commissioning of a new production facility at Nelamangala, near Bangalore . The first biotechnology/fermentation products to be manufactured at this facility were probiotics. Several new products are in the research pipeline, at the biotech R&D facility at Nelamangala.

Carbon Dioxide SCFE

With the strict regulations on VOC and ODC emissions and the rigid examination of the solvent residues that goes into any pharmaceutical, medical or nutraceutical products, the need for a Super Critical Fluid Extraction becomes essential. Sami set up this facility in 2002. It is the first commercial unit to be established with indigenous technology developed by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Mumbai. It uses carbon dioxide in its critical phase as extraction medium. The unit is fully computerised and it avoids industrial pollution and ensures safety of its products when compared to traditional extraction methods.

Intellectual Property Development

Innovation had been the key driving force behind Sami's success. The scientist of Sami and Sabinsa are credited with 19 US and International Patents and another 24 are on their way. Sabinsa is also the winner of Thomas Alva Edison Patent Award in the state of New Jersey (USA) in 2004.