"We are already playing a key role in providing innovative solutions to Indian pharmaceutical companies that are ready to go international with their formulations. The support and extensive reach of our principal partnerships are phenomenal."
Could you provide a brief introduction to Clinicare and highlight your key milestones?
Clinicare was established in the 1980s when India was a highly regulated market with high import duties, and there were not many opportunities. The Indian economy opened up in the early 1990s due to a change of leadership in the country, and we are enjoying the fruits of that change today. My passion for healthcare led me to Europe in the 1980s, and we formed partnerships with two companies that we are still associated with today, namely Sarstedt, based in Germany, and Owen Mumford, based in the United Kingdom. As a business group, we began with CHEMOCID in the 1970’s with chemicals being our core business, and today we have a specialty chemicals manufacturing plant that supplies to the global petroleum industry. Sometime in 2000, we had interest from an Indian pharmaceutical company who wanted to launch insulin in cartridges in India, and that is how we got involved with pen systems, which we offered through our association with Owen Mumford. Thereafter, we tied up with a German packaging conglomerate called Gerresheimer and represented them in India for their cartridges, prefill syringes and plastic packaging. In 2013, I helped Gerresheimer buy a facility in Delhi for plastic packaging, and we continue to represent them for prefill syringes and cartridges, which constitutes our core competence along with pens and auto-injectors.
With regards to your client focus today, where do you see the most demand and opportunity?
Every opportunity of scale we are looking at outside of India involves potential partnerships with pharmaceutical companies in the regulated markets, and we see opportunity in combination products such as injectables, cartridge or syringe systems and COP/COC vials and novel drug delivery solutions. As a business, we work with the top 10 Indian pharmaceutical companies on a project basis, from the initial phases to obtaining approval in the regulated markets. We are not sales oriented; we promote delivery systems and solutions for a specific molecule, therapy or end-application. We work with primary packaging and delivery systems for drugs, and we are not involved in drug development. We deal with containers and ophthalmic bottles from a Swedish-based company called Nolato, glass cartridges and syringes from Gerresheimer and COP syringes and vials from an American company called SiO2. We are doing projects with companies like Lupin, Zydus, Sun Pharma and Dr. Reddy’s, to name a few. Products typically take two to four years to reach the point of commercialization, which is why we foster long term relations with our clients.
What is the biggest challenge for Indian biologics?
The biggest challenge for biologics will be the regulatory pathway. The largest market is the United States, and the pathway is complex even though they opened up the market five years ago. Pharmaceutical companies need to have the vision and the wherewithal to work towards and invest in the biologics business for the future.
Does Clinicare plan to conduct research and development to form its own patents?
We are working on one joint venture project in pharmaceuticals, and we have meetings lined up in the United States in October to start planning a manufacturing site in India for a specific area in pharmaceutical packaging for a facility that will be FDA-approved and EMA-approved. This is an American-Chinese operation, and the third site will be in India.
What is your final message to our readership about Clinicare looking ahead to the next three to five years?
We are already playing a key role in providing innovative solutions to Indian pharmaceutical companies that are ready to go international with their formulations. The support and extensive reach of our principal partnerships are phenomenal as it includes partnerships such as Owen Mumford and Baltimore Innovations in the United Kingdom, Gerresheimer and Sarstedt, Remy & Geiser and Gerresheimer in Germany, Rovipharm in France, Wisepac Inc. and SiO2 in the United States and Nolato in Sweden, to name a few. These companies fully support Clinicare, and we are conducting roadshows every month in India with each of our partners. We have held back as salespeople, pitching ourselves as more of a solution provider, and this strategy has received positive reactions from the market. We are making headway with our project within the United States, and one year down the line we will be able to tell a different story once our products and solutions for Indian pharmaceuticals will be available in the United States and Europe. We have been working on this vision for over 18 years, and we are excited about the future.