“Categorization into phytopharma will encourage use of herbal drugs”

Mentioned Mr Amit Sharma, Director, Sanat Products in an exclusive interaction with the BioVoice where he shared details on the company's activities, regulations, outlook and much more

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Founded by Mr Pradip Burman of Dabur Group, Sanat Products is an emerging innovation-driven pharmaceutical company, headquartered in New Delhi. Established in the year 1984, the company is engaged in the manufacturing and marketing of pharmaceutical and nutraceuticals products. In an exclusive chat with the BioVoice, Mr Amit Sharma, Director, Sanat Products, shared details on the company’s current activities, regulatory scenario, business outlook and much more. Read on:

How has the acquisition of Hindustan Herbals by Sanat Products a year ago turned out for the company?

We will define acquisition of HHL as complete success as within a year it has been transformed into standalone profitable company, This has become possible as increased synergy, niche offerings, economies of scale and various cost reduction exercises have yielded positive results. HHL business has also complemented competencies with Sanat Products limited and has enhanced botanicals portfolio.

With this merger, we had immediate access to wide range of of phyto pharmaceuticals including Thiocolchicocides and Colchicine, in fact we upgraded this product and are currently in position to manufacturer EP Grade of Thiocochicocides which opens our door for European phyto pharma companies, this is apart from USP and IP grade of Thiocolchicocides.

How do you look at growth of the phyto-pharmaceuticals industry in India? What are latest trends in the sector?

Quality, Safety and efficacy are vital parameters for any drug, be it from natural source or synthetic one, We at Sanat ensure that our product adheres these fundamentals.

Today herbal medicines mainly use extracts as active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). In dietary supplements, such extracts are used as additives with nutritional or physiological action. Depending on the product category and the various regulatory requirements of the end product in the respective region, formulation is prepared. Unlike in the field of nutritionals (phytonutraceutical solutions),  Sanat is addressing the challenge by adopting pharmaceutically oriented approaches for phyto pharmaceuticals. Trend is towards bone health, cancer prevention, cardiovascular disease and gastrointestinal health management.

Government is also actively promoting and envisaging sector’s exponential potential, Phyto-Pharma mission, being launched by AYUSH and DBT to promote the cultivation and conservation of medicinal plants in North East states. It will also improve availability of authentic and quality botanical raw material on sustainable basis for a boom in the phytopharmaceutical industry.

Aren’t the undefined regulations for the upcoming sector still a challenge in India?

Yes, there are issues yet at the same time any evolving industry has sector specific concerns, which are being rightly handled by industry forum in close tandem with appropriate govt authority. Globally, herbal medicine has been considered an important alternative to modern allopathic medicine. While they have become very popular, only select herbs have been scientifically evaluated for their potential in medical treatment .

The Indian government published a draft amendment to the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, and its Rules, by defining phytopharmaceuticals as botanical-based drugs. For the evaluation and marketing of plant-based substances as drugs, the Schedule mandates that scientific data must back quality, safety, and efficacy claims. This will create a new category, similar to synthetic, chemical drugs currently covered under Schedule Y of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act. This initiative is expected to give a boost to scientific research-based drug development from traditional medicine. These new regulations, which put phytopharmaceuticals into a new category, because many provisions for synthetic drugs are not appropriate or relevant for botanical-based products or phytopharmaceuticals. This will encourage the use of scientifically developed herbal products by modern medical practitioners—not only in India, but at the global level.

Please tell us about the latest activities and focus of Sanat Products in India?

At Sanat our focus is multidisciplinary, it is on natural cosmeceuticals and if they are to be considered truly natural, must be, free of synthetic ingredients such as fragrances, preservatives, additives, surfactants and emulsifiers, as well as artificial colors and irradiation and animal testing. Consumer preferences are heading towards natural cosmetics and personal care, this is driving demand for natural cosmetic ingredients to new height. Currently we have Glabridin, green coffee, centella in this category.

We also focus on plant derived vitamins. Artificial vitamins often pass through your body without being absorbed, Plant-based supplements are made from fruits, vegetables, seeds, spices, bark, flowers, leaves, and other botanical ingredients. The exact source depends on which vitamin or mineral is needed. Typically, the process starts with a plant that is already naturally high in the desired nutrient , At Sanat – We are currently doing Amla, better bioavailability and low toxicity makes it a great choice . In Natural Color segment – We are doing curucmin and algal/spirulina derived Phycocynain, a rich source of natural blue color.

Natural preservatives we are working on are rosemary extracts and oregano extract. Commercial products are typically loaded with preservatives to allow them to remain fresh during the long span between the time of manufacture and the time the customer finishes using it. Although the preservatives do extend the longevity of the products and help keep them free from bacteria, synthetic preservatives themselves are often unhealthy. Natural preservatives are healthy choice.

Our latest focus is on Licorcie based Sweetener known as MAG, is known to be a natural sweetener, and considered to be a functional ingredient used to enhance a product’s sweetness.  It is commonly used in the food, pharmaceutical, flavour and nutraceutical industries.

We also produce carotenoides and organic extracts. Currently, Sanat has over 100 ingredients as Organic Certified and these certifications are  from EU and USA bodies. We are also doing Lutein and zeaxanthin carotenoids from Marigold

How has been the performance of Sanat Products in last financial year? What is your outlook for current FY?

After acquisition we have grown by 15 percent and expect to rise to 20 percent this year. This growth trend is ways above the industry trend. With series of steps we are taking and being continuously open for expansion by organic or non organic route guarantees exponential growth in times to come.

Where do you see the company in next five years?

We are aspiring to be a 100 million USD company in next five years. Being a responsible corporate house, Company is  keenly to contributing on social and environmental side. We ensure that plant itself is not getting disturbed by our activities . Our support to various NGOs and solar source of electricity at our factory is testimony of our spirit in this direction.