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Pharmaceutical manufacturer tapping into nutraceutical opportunities

By Kacey Culliney, 23-Jan-2012

Related topics: Nutrition, Supplements

The anticipation of regulatory changes as well as prospects of strong growth opportunities has led generic pharmaceutical manufacturer Sohm to open a new in-house nutraceutical plant in Ahmedabad, West India.

Shailesh Shah, president and CEO of Sohm told FoodNavigator-Asia that the company has anticipated changes in US and Indian Food and Drug Administration laws that would mean companies could not manufacture nutraceutical and pharmaceutical formulations in the same premises.

By setting up a separate, in-house plant dedicated to nutraceuticals, Sohm will be able to deliver products to consumers efficiently if and when these changes come into place, Shah said.

He added that the new facility has also been set up amid a rapidly expanding global nutraceutical and functional food market; an evolution that will be a “game changer for the world health scenario.”

“The limitations of palliative and symptomatic therapies and their inability to deliver curative goals, has shifted the focus of innovators from disease management as an end in itself to proactive health management,” he continued.

Sohm’s mission, Shah said, is to “deliver high quality nutraceuticals and offer alternatives for unmet needs globally and cost effectively...The idea is to go beyond disease-management into pro-active health excellence.”

Market analysts, Freedonia, recently forecast that the global nutraceutical market will grow at 7.2% annually and be worth €18.5 billion by 2015. It noted India as a developing region, along with China, Brazil, Mexico and South Korea, that will drive this growth.

Dedicated nutraceuticals

The plant will manufacture 30 different products for the global nutraceutical market and the facility has met standards of both the US and Indian Food and Drug Administrations and is compliant with all local authority guidelines. Sohm is in the process of obtaining regulatory approval from the US for the products themselves.

“The capacities are at the cutting edge of technology, so we see no reason why we should not win endorsement from US regulatory authorities,” Shah said.

There are several products, he said, including those for gastroenterology, arthropathy and nutritional disorders.

Diorec, a probiotic anti-diarrheal product, will be manufactured at the site as well as I-Prolec a protein product with lecithin that ensures uptake of the protein within the body.

He added that overall the focus of production will be on manufacturing supplements and possibly functional foods but not beverages.

The new facility marks part of a wider growth plan, focused on driving an innovative and larger product range to tap into what the company believes is a market full of opportunities.