Muscat: Neopharma, one of region’s leading pharmaceutical manufacturing companies, has invested a total of OMR92 million towards diabetes management in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and global markets.
These investments include OMR10 million in a state-of-the-art Japanese factory, OMR28 million in the acquisition of patents and licenses and an additional investment in clinical studies amounting to OMR54 million.
The factory in Japan will manufacture supplements for patients in the pre-diabetic stage and also Type II diabetes patients.
Neopharma Japan has acquired a 65 per cent stake in the Japanese pharmaceutical company, Cosmo ALA (now known as Neo ALA), to manufacture this dietary supplement. The product NatuALA is a breakthrough in the management of Type 2 diabetes. World Health Organisation (WHO) predicts that diabetes will become the seventh major cause of death around the world by 2030.
Furthermore, according to WHO, nearly 422 million people are diabetic worldwide. This figure is expected to spiral to 642 million by 2040. In the region, 35.4 million suffer from diabetes and by 2040; the number is estimated to surge to 72.1 million.
“Obesity is a growing concern in many nations in the Middle East as approximately a third of adults are now obese and diabetes and other weight-related diseases are becoming serious public health issues. The diabetes epidemic is largely focused on massively increased rates of obesity in the region. Obesity when left unchallenged, leads to pre-diabetes or metabolic syndrome,” said Dr. B.R. Shetty, chairman and managing director, Neopharma.
“Either of these conditions, if not swiftly acted against, can lead to the development of full-blown Type 2 diabetes. The diabetes epidemic occurs at different rates throughout the world, with the condition changing in some countries from a minor to a fundamental problem in a matter of years,” he added.
Neopharma’s factory in Japan has started production to meet the ever-growing needs of the Type 2 diabetes patients in the GCC region and across the globe. Neopharma will be distributing the product worldwide. Clinical studies for NatuALA are being conducted across the United States, Japan, United Kingdom and Bahrain.
Neopharma announced its plans in the presence of the Assistant Undersecretary of Public Health Policy and Licensing, Dr. Amin Al Amiri, the Japanese Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kanji Fujiki, Prof. Tohru Tanaka, and Prof. Naohide Yamashita, among other senior officials. The launch event focused on the history and development of 5-ALA and its application in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.
The supplement decreases glucose levels by insulin-independent method and keeps fasting glucose levels under check. The product has 60 patents over 35 countries worldwide. An easily scalable fermentation process is used to develop this dietary supplementary product.
5-ALA is an amino acid created in mitochondria, known as the powerhouse of the cell. It is an important substance that serves as a functional molecule related to energy production, and its productivity is known to decrease with age. It is also known as a material forming chloroplasts in plants.
“Medical technology now enables more accurate diagnosis for better monitoring, prevention and management of illnesses, many of them deemed life-threatening or incapacitating earlier. Innovations in this pre-diabetes arena will help people live healthier, longer and more active lives,” concluded Dr. Shetty.
5-ALA also has great potential for Oncology. It can be used for diagnosis, prophylaxis, and as a therapeutic drug. Neopharma is working on research and technology transfers, which will be conducted in partnership with its Japanese counterpart.
NMC Health is listed on the London Stock Exchange, and is UAE’s largest private healthcare provider, where over 4 million patients are treated every year. As a backward integration, Neopharma was established in 2003 to manufacture and market pharmaceuticals; such as, Neopharma brand generics of anti-infectives, analgesics, antipyretics and anti-inflammatory drugs, drugs for diabetes, cardiovascular drugs, respiratory medicines, drugs related to the central nervous system, gastrointestinal drugs, and vitamins among several other therapeutic drugs.