Where Innovation is a Tradition

The Best of Both Worlds

Sami Building

Sami Labs, which blends ayurveda with modern science, is all set to launch a drug for psoriasis.

Sami Labs Limited, based in Bangalore, is all set to launch a drug for psoriasis. The phase-III clinical trials are over, and documents will be submitted to the Drug Controller General of India for approval by January. According to Dr. Muhammed Majeed, founder and managing director of Sami Labs, the drug derived from natural sources is expected to be a global hit.

The drug for psoriasis follows Ocufors, a drug from natural sources of Glaucoma. The Drug Controller General of India had granted permission to Sami Labs to manufacture and market this drug in India on July 28, 2006. Forskolin one percent ophthalmic solution, with the brand new Ocufors, was a breakthrough in the Indian Pharmaceutical industry.

Forskohlin is an extract prepared from the herb, Coleus Forskholii of the mint family. It grows wild in some parts of India. In some areas, people grow it to make pickles. In recent years, it has gained importance as the only source of Forskolin. Sami Labs has a US patent for the preparation of forskohlin from Coleus Forskohlii. Sami Labs has popularized this plant, and is now cultivating it on more than 10,000 acres of land in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra.

With its emphasis on R&D, quality and innovation, Sami Labs has witnessed unprecedented growth. It is a leading producer and exporter of nutraceuticals, cosmeceuticals, standardized herbal extracts, fine chemicals, speciality chemicals and probiotics. Sami Labs has been combining the rich traditional knowledge of ayurveda with modern medicine.

Sami Labs has 32 national and international patents, and more are in the pipeline. These products help in the prevention and cure of a wide variety of aliments. Forslean, a standardized extract from Coleus Forskohlii plant the only known source of Forskohlin is used in the treatment of mood disorders. Gugulipid, an extract from the gum resin of a medical tree, Commiphora Mukul, has been clinically proven to reduce the levels of harmful serum lipids. Bacopin is extracted from leaves of Bacopa Monniera (Brahmi) plant. The active ingredients of bacopa are beneficial for cognitive functions. Bioperine is a standardized extract from the fruit of black pepper or long pepper. Bioperine is the only source of Piperine, to undergo clinical studies in the US to substantiate its efficacy. Curcumin C3 Complex, a compound of active ingredients found in turmeric, is an effective anti-oxidant. Sami Labs caters to major players like J.K. Helen Curtis, Modicare, Marico, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, Nicholas Piramal, Aristo Pharma and Global T.

Sabinsa Corporation, New Jersey, USA, established in 1988, is the international marketing arm of Sami Labs. It markets several nutritional supplements of Indian, African, European and American origin to the rapidly growing US and global nutraceutical and cosmeceutical markets. Today, it has marketing tie-ups with companies in Japan, Europe, Australia, the Middle East and South America.

Sami Labs has won various awards for its innovation in research and development. It won the Thomas Alva Edison Patent Award for 2004 for its product, Forslean. This annual award instituted by the Research and Development Council of New Jersey, honours the most important scientific breakthrough and revolutionary product innovation originating in New Jersey. This is the second award for Forslean in the innovation arena. The product earlier won the Best New Product Award in 2001 at the Nutracon Conference in the US.

Majeed is pinning his hopes on the new drug for psoriasis, and hopes for quantum jump in the international market. Says Majeed: “We are sure to get a major break internationally through tie-ups with the world’s major companies”.

Dr. Mohemmed Majeed

Man with a vision

Enriching human life has been a life-long quest for Dr Muhammed Majeed, founder of Sami Labs. To benefit mankind, Dr. Majeed proactively used his scientific brilliance and entrepreneurial spirit to create Sami Labs. Dr Majeed is passionate about his work. He is forthright in his views and opinions, and believes that honesty is not a characteristic, but a way of life. Extremely candid in his opinions, Dr Majeed can mesmerize audiences with his simplicity and frankness. At 59, he continues to be energetic and enthusiastic to learn, educate, create and give society the benefits of health.

Dr. Majeed, who grew up in Kollam, Kerala, graduated in pharmacy from the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College in 1973, and then landed in the USA in early seventies with eight dollars in his pocket, and many dreams to fulfill. He was triumphant in everything he did, and continues to be so. With 24 hours of reaching the US he was employed at a pharmacy for three-and-a-half dollars an hour and from there on, as they say, ‘there was no looking back’. He did his master’s in industrial pharmacy from long Island University and became a scientist at pharma major Pfizer. He did his doctorate in industrial pharmacy from St. John’s University. The six year he took for his doctorate, exemplified a trait that still defines the man and propels him to success: he would work in the morning at Pfizer and would spend the rest of the evening pursuing the nitty-gritty of his PhD.

In 2004, Dr Majeed won the Ellis Island Medal of Honour of the US based National Ethnic Coalition of Organisation (NECO). The award, sanctioned by the US Congress, is presented to Americans of diverse origin, recognizing their leadership, commitment and service to their own ethnic group and to American society at large.

Majeed champions the model of providing livelihood and growth opportunities in the agriculture sector. Though he started his business venture in the US, he shifted all his major activities to Bangalore. Today, Sami Labs in Bangalore is the parent company, with subsidiary companies across the globe. Around 10,000 farmers across various states of India produce the raw material for products that fight aliments from cancer to obesity. This is Majeed’s way of bringing back to India what he earns abroad.

With more than 100 scientists, 50 professionals, about 1000 employees, 10,000 farmers, four manufacturing units and R & D hubs. Majeed has formidable army in his battle against illnesses and in his effort to provide care. This visionary continues to help his team innovate and develop newer products to make the word healthier, and thus, a better place to live in. The tow Thomas Alva Edison patent award, Ellis Island Medal of Honour and various other awards are recognition of his brilliance.

Stepping our of the brain drain by Michele R. Pistone and John Hoeffner, takes note of Majeed and his companies Sabinsa Corporation, New Jersey, USA and Sami Labs Limited, Bangalore. The book says that Majeed is an excellent example of how migration of skilled and educated professionals from a developing country to a developed country can benefit both the countries. When migrants start businesses, the benefits often accrue to both the countries, say the authors. The book points out that many customers who rely on Sabinsa products have gained from Majeed’s migration, as customers perceive those products to be of more help that any other alternatives.

Majeed took ayurveda to the Americans. By identifying the active molecules in the herbs and standardizing them, he taught the world that ayurveda is a treasure-trove of knowledge that can be used for the well-ness of man. By doing so, Majeed has pointed out that this is the only way to preserve and carry forward ayurveda, the wealth of India.