Indian Consumer Major, Dabur, To Produce Two New Ayurvedic Drugs
India’s fourth largest consumer goods company, Dabur, signed a deal on Wednesday to make two newdrugs for malaria and diabetes management based on the ancient Indian science of Ayurveda.
The $1.3 billion (fiscal 2015 revenues) Delhi company–which is one of the largest manufacturers of Ayurvedic medicines in the world–will launch the anti-malarial drug (Ayush-64) and the diabetes drug (Ayush-82) in the next six months.
The Ayurvedic formulations for these drugs were developed by the Central Council of Research in Ayurvedic Sciences–the apex body for Ayurvedic research in India. It’s a government agency that’s’ into pharmaceutical R&D and Ayurvedic drug development. Dabur will commercially produce the drugs.
The Ayurvedic council has been into drug development for the last four decades. It’s now working with industry leaders to commercialize drugs.
Dabur, for its part, is looking at partnerships in R&D relating to Ayurvedic medicines encompassing the entire spectrum from drug development to formulation development to pre-clinical and clinical studies.
Dabur will be supported by its extensive distribution network. (It sells through 6 million outlets across the country.) It’s also looking at marketing some of the products that the council has already developed.
Dabur, which is a leading producer of a diverse array of consumer goods from hair oil to honey to herbal supplements, has a rich history of Ayurveda. It was founded in 1884 by an Ayurvedic practitioner S.K. Burman. He started off by making medicines in his Kolkata home for widespread diseases of those times–like cholera and malaria. The company has many ancient Indian texts outlining these formulations. (It also has automated greenhouses in Nepal and Uttaranchal for growing rare herbs.)
Dabur’s chairman,Anand Burman, who has a PhD in pharmaceutical chemistry, also has a keen interest in promoting Ayurvedic medicines. In fact, he used extracts from the Asian yew tree to develop anticancer drugs. His name is linked to about 40 patents.
Dabur’s announcement comes at a time when Ayurveda itself has become a popular buzz word. Take for instance,PatanjaliAyurved Ltd, founded by yoga guru Baba Ramdev in 2006 along with Acharya Bal Krishna. The company, which offers a range of products from toothpaste to whole-wheat noodles to biscuits, has become one of the fastest growing consumer goods companies in India.