The Economic Times
August 05, 2003

Sami Labs buys CRO ClinWorld
New Pastures: Acquisition Marks Sami’s Foray Into Clinical Research.


Anil Urs
Bangalore, August 4

Sami Labs, a Bangalore based nutraceuticals and probiotics company, has acquired ClinWorld, a clinical research organisation (CRO). Without disclosing the acquisition cost, Ms Neeraja Shetty, CEO, nutraceutical formulations division, Sami Labs, said this marks Sami’s foray into clinical research and trials for its own products.
ClinWorld is CRO based both in the US and India. Founded by Dr. Lilly Sanathanan, an industry professional with over 20 years of drug development experience, it has clients like Ciba-Giegy, Glaxo Wellcome, Glaxo Wellcome Liasion office (India), and Glaxo SmithKline Biologicals (India).

In India, its operations mainly involve implementing SAS Programming, statistical analysis, and data warehousing / mining projects for Glaxo Wellcome and Glaxo SmithKline.

Sami Labs has drawn up an aggressive plan for its year-old nutraceutical formulations division to boost sales of its new nutraceutical formulations like antioxidants, phyto-chemicals, glucosamine sulphate, and coenzyme supplements.

Backed by the latest technology in research and development ( R&D), the company is today focussed on the discovery of active compounds from natural sources and commercial production of new products by applying advanced manufacturing technology. After focusing on exports for a decade, the company has now launched a range of preventive and therapeutic products in the domestic nutraceuticals market, said Ms Shetty . Also, a separate domestic division has been set up with Rs 5 crore investment partnering American Formulary, a subsidiary of the Sami Group.

Currently, the company has eight nutraceuticals for tackling disease conditions like prostate cancer, age related macular degeneration, arthritis, osteoporosis, hepatic dysfunction, and cardiac diseases.

Globally, nutraceuticals is a $75- billion business. In India, the size of the market Rs 150 crore – Rs 200 crore. Sami also recently launched ‘SelenoCare’, the first organic selenium supplement, and is planning to launch a probiotic, a hypocholesterolemic and a couple of other antioxidants in the market.

The company is targeting Rs 10-crore sales in the nutraceutical category by the end of this financial year. For this the company has partnered with farmers in several parts of the country to help in value-addition to medicinal plants and an R&D centre in Karnataka, said Ms Shetty.

The company has added an indigenously developed supercritical fluid extraction facility at Nelamangala in Bangalore to eliminate effluent generation during research.

Sami Labs is also engaged in tissue culture and phytochemistry studies, biotech research on probiotics, improved productivity of existing products in the area of fine chemicals, biochemistry, and microbiology.