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Cipla: The Headquarters of Health, Medicine and Concern

silicon-review-yusuf-khwaja-hamied“Healthy citizens are the greatest asset any country can have.” –  Winston S. Churchill

Cipla was born out of Dr. K.A. Hamied’s vision to harness Indian expertise for self-sufficiency in the chemical and pharmaceutical industry in India. Dr. K.A. Hamied was an exemplary visionary who donned various hats, he was a chemist, an entrepreneur and pioneer, an active participant in India’s independence struggle, a close ally of Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. Zakir Hussain and various others, a legislator in the Bombay Presidency, head of various associations, Sheriff of Bombay, proactive supporter and sponsor of institutes of scientific excellence in India.

Be it the commencement of Bulk Drug Production in India, the landmark Indian Patents Act of 1970, the several ‘firsts’ in India and the world, its historic international stance on the price and availability of antiretroviral drugs for HIV treatment in 2000-2001, its free-of-cost Palliative Care Centre for terminally-ill cancer patients, Cipla, under the leadership of its current Chairman Dr. Y.K. Hamied, has stood for fearlessness and compassion.

Apart from its various national and international milestones, the story of Cipla’s growth and expansion, its ups and downs, successes and challenges is also one that deserves to be chronicled. According to Dr Y K Hamied, Cipla was ranked 56 in the 1960s.

It is with this view that the Cipla Archives project has been launched recently. They treat their proud legacy with the seriousness and the sense of responsibility it deserves. They want to share Cipla’s story, celebrate its rich history, remind themselves of the lessons learned and reflect on the evolution of the pharmaceutical industry in India and at Cipla’s role in shaping it.

The Cipla Archives will bring together and house a treasure-trove of documents, photographs and oral history interviews, among other material. As the project progresses, they hope to make information available through this website. With this initiative and related activities, they not only hope to showcase Cipla’s history but also contribute to the development of business archives in India and serve as a forum for debates and discussions on the history and historiography of science and the pharmaceutical industry in India.

Proven as a worthy Pharmaceutical Company not only in India, but around the World

Respiration: Cipla has been at the forefront of innovation for inhalation therapy in India. The Company has played a leading role in educating the nation on inhalation therapy and over the coming years they will continue to work on topics such as patient awareness, acceptance, compliance and usage, physician training, medical camps and counselling. Strongly focused on access and affordability, Cipla Respiratory continued to strengthen its efforts through the “BreatheFree” patient awareness and education programs across markets, dedicated to making a difference to both patients and medical practitioners.

Over the last 40 years, the Company has been focused on bringing this innovation to markets across the globe. Today, Cipla Respiratory products are available in over 100 countries, it offers the world’s largest portfolio of inhalation products, with 27 molecules and combinations across a range of devices, to suit individual patient needs. It has five manufacturing facilities dedicated to respiratory products and is currently the third largest manufacturer of pMDIs in the world.

Cipla’s Global Access: Since its inception, Cipla’s ethos has been firmly rooted in the vision “None shall be denied”. The Company strongly believes that access to high quality, affordable medicines is a basic human right. Cipla Global Access (C-GA) is a tender based institutional business that concentrates on four key therapy areas: HIV/AIDS, malaria, multi drug-resistant tuberculosis and reproductive health.

Cipla has by far the highest number of ARV products approved for the treatment of both children and adults. In addition newer molecules in novel dosage forms (e.g. pellets) are being developed to help optimize dosage for the current regimens, for the treatment of children and also reduce the pill load, thereby offering better adherence and success of treatment. Cipla is adding new capacity for the growing demand for ARV products and expect the expansion to be completed in 2016-17. Cipla is also one of the largest suppliers of antimalarial drugs in the world. This portfolio covered treatment for over 55 million malaria patients across all the affected countries. The coverage is increasing every year and thus saving millions of lives. Cipla anti-malarial treatment costs less than a dollar for the entire course.

Cipla Veterinary: Cipla’s animal health division, is India’s largest Veterinary Pharmaceutical Exporter with a presence in over 100 countries. It is the first ever Indian company to supply animal health products in highly regulated markets like US, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Hong Kong, Turkey, Korea, Brazil, Mexico etc. With a wide portfolio of products, Cipla Vet specializes in equine and companion care with categories extending to livestock, poultry, swine and aqua products. Their product range covers all the key therapeutic segments like Anti-Infectives, Anti-Inflammatories, Anti-Thyroids, Immunosuppressants, Parasiticides, Nutraceuticals and Feed Additives. Cipla Vet has built world class in-house capabilities for development and manufacturing of various dosage forms.

Striving to give humankind, an affordable and healthy living

Leader in Drug delivery
Cipla’s Research & Development (R&D) is focused towards developing new products, improving existing products as well as drug delivery systems and expanding product applications. Hundreds of scientists work on all facets of pharmaceutical development and technology. In-house R&D forms the backbone of their operations. With almost 5-6% of the company turnover being invested towards R&D each year, their strategy focuses on:

  • Developing new drug formulations for existing and newer drug substances
  • Improving processes for existing API and formulation products
  • Developing new drug delivery systems for existing and newer active drug substances, as well as newer medical devices, mainly in the area of respiratory medicine
  • Tie-ups with independent research teams to develop new products
  • Strengthening the intellectual property, including the patenting of new products, drug delivery systems and medical devices, mainly in the area of respiratory medicine
  • Conducting clinical and bio-equivalence studies for obtaining regulatory approvals for new products and services

In addition, for their international business, R&D team works with the strategic partners to file Drug Master Files (DMFs) and Abbreviated New Drug Applications (ANDAs) in the US and seek marketing authorizations in Europe and file product registrations in other jurisdictions.

Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients – API
Cipla’s mission of providing affordable medicines across many therapeutic areas globally is duly supported by the relentless efforts of a team of more than 300 dedicated and talented scientists. Cipla houses state-of-the-art research facilities for its API process development at three locations in India, with dedicated teams working on synthetic, organic chemistry, process engineering and analytical development at multiple locations.

  • API pipeline consists of 75+ complex developments in the therapy areas of Oncology, Hep C, ARV, Diabetology, CVS, CNS, Respiratory etc.
  • Cipla uses latest technologies like process analytical technology, continuous flow reactors for process development.
  • The products are developed using principles of quality by design, incorporating Design Of Experiments (DOE) to develop robust and cost effective processes.
  • API R&D has dedicated oncology and polypeptide development labs.
  • The API Integrated Product Development (IPD) team has rolled out a programme for adopting principles of Green Chemistry with a vision for developing processes that are friendly to the environment, like use of enzymatic transformations, reducing waste generation and recycling of suitable inputs.

Their capabilities are limitless from development of a simple achiral molecule to highly complex multi chiral centres molecule with a distinction of affordability and highest quality.

Platform Technology
Cipla has made strategic investments in common platform technologies such as sustained release and combination products, and in key platforms to enhance drug delivery system capabilities. These technologies enhance the drug’s safety and its efficacy by a targeted therapy approach. In some instances, the convenience of patients is an important factor. The strategic aim is to formulate differentiated products that overcome the key challenges of conventional drug delivery systems and add value to current products.

Cipla’s New Ventures
The pharmaceutical world is seeing significant shifts, towards biology-based medicine, towards finding new value in old drugs, with blockbuster research output dwindling; and towards prevention, wellness and self-care. Cipla launched Cipla New Ventures last year, as its impact investment arm, to nurture and build innovation-led business streams for Cipla, distinct from the mainstream business of today and tomorrow.

Cipla BioTec: Meditab Specialities Private Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Company acquired 75% stake in Mabpharm Private Limited (‘Mabpharm’). Mabpharm has now become a 100% subsidiary of the Company. Cipla BioTec (formerly Mabpharm) focuses on research, development, manufacturing and marketing of biosimilars, in the fields of cancer, auto-immune diseases, respiratory diseases and diabetes. Through innovative technology and go-to-market solutions, it aims to create a transformational impact in the way these medicines are used.

Cipla Consumer Healthcare: Through Cipla Consumer Healthcare (CHC), Cipla has entered the rapidly growing over-the-counter (OTC) healthcare market in India. The vision is to improve the lives of Indian consumers, making full use of Cipla’s strengths in bringing good science to good medicine, while also leveraging its market outreach and equity with the Indian healthcare system. The business will focus on opportunities arising from the shift towards wellness and self-care.

Stempeutics: Stempeutics Research is a group company of Manipal Education and Medical Group and a Joint Venture with Cipla Group. This year, Stempeutics Research, got its novel pool technology patent granted in the USA as well as an Advanced Therapy Medicinal Product (‘ATMP’) classification from the European Medicines Agency for its lead product, Stempeucel, for the treatment of various indications including Buerger’s disease, critical limb ischemia and osteoarthritis. Stempeutics has also received its first commercial approval for Stempeucare – for cosmetic applications in India.

Here is the Apollo

Yusuf Khwaja Hamied is a billionaire Indian scientist and businessman, the Chairman of Cipla, a generic pharmaceuticals company founded by his father Khwaja Abdul Hamied in 1935. Hamied was educated at the Cathedral and John Connon School in Bombay. He holds a PhD in Chemistry from Christ’s College, Cambridge. He uses his chemistry notebooks from Cambridge when he develops new syntheses of drugs. He is best known outside India for defying large Western pharmaceutical companies in order to provide generic AIDS drugs and treatments for other ailments primarily affecting people in poor countries. He has led efforts to eradicate AIDS in the developing world and to give patients life-saving medicines regardless of their ability to pay and has been characterized as a modern-day Robin Hood figure.

Hamied has also been influential in pioneering development of multi-drug combination pills (also known as fixed-dose combinations, or FDCs), notably for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, asthma and other ailments chiefly affecting developing countries, as well as development of pediatric formulations of drugs, especially those benefiting children in poor settings. These innovations have greatly expanded access to medicine and increased drug safety by ensuring proper dosages are taken. He is also highly regarded for his role in expanding the production of bulk drugs and “active pharmaceutical ingredients” (APIs, the active chemical components in medicines) in India. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan, India’s third highest civilian honour by Government of India in 2005 and his role in the battle for mass antiretroviral treatment in Africa is portrayed in the documentary “Fire in the Blood.”

“Individual success does not make a person great. What really matters is his contribution to society and improving the lives of his fellow men.”

“I don’t want to make money off these diseases which cause the whole fabric of society to crumble”