“We aim to grow scale across research, product lines & infrastructure”

Gaurav Kaushik, Managing Director & CEO, Meteoric Biopharmaceuticals says that in 2022 his company's focus will be on expanding the production capability and yield of this particular strain of probiotics

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Gaurav Kaushik, Managing Director & CEO, Meteoric Biopharmaceuticals.
In 2006, Gaurav Kaushik, a young and dynamic first generation entrepreneur, set out to author a legacy.  Today, under his leadership Meteoric Biopharmaceuticals, with over 100 products is fast emerging as a leading name in the biopharma landscape. The company has over 100 products across enzymes and enzymatic preparations, probiotics, nutraceuticals and animal healthcare.
In an exclusive conversation with the BioVoice, Gaurav Kaushik, Managing Director & CEO, Meteoric Biopharmaceuticals shared insights on the company’s product offerings, operations, and future plans.

BV LogoHow has Meteoric Biopharmaceuticals responded to the challenges posed by Covid-19 pandemic? Any key learnings that you will be implementing in the near future?
Then onset of COVID-19 was sudden and the fallouts tremendous. Individuals and enterprises alike had to be agile and respond by thinking beyond the conventional.
At Meteoric, we ensured an uninterrupted supply of all kinds of essential ingredients required for COVID-19 medicines and formulations. The output and supply of essential ingredients were increased, and a very efficient supply chain was managed. We also developed and launched various immunomodulators, supplements and provided end-to-end solutions with extremely short turnaround timelines.
Some key learnings from the COVID-19 fallouts for the industry have been the importance of ensuring accessibility of medicines and formulations and reducing over and repetitive import dependency.  From a company angle, we plan to focus on developing a more customized range of health supplements, immune functions products and increasing awareness of biological products and process.
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What are the global trends in biopharmaceuticals in the last few years and how will these impact India?
The whole biopharmaceutical sector has witnessed very strong transformation with technological advancements. Technology has benefitted the entire process from discovery to launch and distribution. The importance of this was seen during the pandemic which necessitated a quick turnaround and extreme levels of collaboration. The impact on India was high since we had to deliver mass-scale production in a short time in cost-effective and commercially viable ways.
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What are the product offerings and their USPs? How does the company stand out from the rest of the crowd?
We offer customers a wide range of solutions across enzymes, probiotics, nutraceuticals.  Our customized formulations have seen tremendous jump in the last few years. One of the main reasons for this have been our well established processes and in-depth knowledge of ingredient and solutions. We actively participate in the entire process, understand our customer requirements and guide them accordingly so they can include these biologicals (enzyme, probiotics & nutraceuticals) in their production process, replace a few costly and hazardous chemicals, and also offer analytical services for testing raw materials and finished goods.
Comparative cost and replacing chemical and hazardous burden is one of our strongest USP’s.
We are exploring therapeutical and certain severe chronic disease remedies through probiotics and nutraceuticals items. We are also working on easy consumables form of probiotic enzymes and nutraceuticals so one can take them regularly in day-to-day life.
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How much is the company’s annual production capacity for enzymes and probiotics respectively? What is your share nationally and who are the customers?
Annual production capacity of enzymes is around 60 to 70 metric tonnes and probiotics – Bacillus spp 70 to 80 tonnes while Vegetative spp is around 25 to 35 metric tonnes. Today, we are leading providers of enzymes and probiotics in the country.
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Please take us through the customization and contract manufacturing services offered by the company?
Our contract manufacturing services mainly focus on customization, concept-based formulation, and inclusion of biological items for all classes of infants, young and adults. This segment includes products with scientific information and easy consumables which do not make you feel you are having a pill or medicine. Active constituents include gummies in many flavours, mouth dissolving strips, mouth dissolving tablets, water-soluble materials which can be drunk with water, juices, milk etc.
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Key milestones achieved by Meteoric Biopharmaceuticals in FY 2020-21 and what are the plans for FY 2021-22? New products where you are focusing and how it will impact the company?
As done for the last few years, our goals remain in place to grow scale – across research, product lines, and infrastructure capability. We have been growing rapidly and have been increasing our footprint across the globe, penetrating our existing markets with a broader range of biopharma solutions.
We have sampled more than 500 samples of microorganisms from natural habitats. Out of these extensive screening few qualified as potential Probiotics (with appropriate texonomy), which we would be releasing as specialty Probiotics. However, their role and health benefits as Probiotics are very high compared to their basic version, with proven clinicals.
In 2022 our focus will be on expanding the production capability and yield of this particular strain of probiotics. We plan to produce and commercialize this specialty probiotic recently isolated and characterized by us. We plan to launch specialty probiotic and prebiotic – certain classic synbiotics. We are actively working on a certain vegan alternative of animal-originated enzymes, and will be launching a few of them.
In terms of infrastructure investment, we are building an advanced fermentation facility to scale up potential Probiotics, their culture, certain Vitamins in Bioavalaible form, and a few nutraceuticals imported in bulk from China. We will also include and expand more immunomodulator formulations.
All these steps are being planned with an eye on our top line and bottom line keeping the business fluid and agile.
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Please take us through key R&D initiatives that Meteoric is focusing on in 2021? Which are the key focus areas?
We would be focusing more on screening and isolating certain new classes of bacteria in the prebiotic segment, optimizing yield hence offering competitive cost of enzymes initiating indigenous production of import-oriented nutraceuticals.
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How is the company striking a balance between environment-friendly policies and sustainable growth?
There is a very well-defined ecosystem between environmental friendly policies and sustainable growth. This sector is below the environmental pollution, carbon emission and other climatic criteria defined for this sector. It is the only sector that is contributing more to the environment ecosystem and hence growth factors do not get impacted by any adverse policies.
This sector sees more use of reagents, lab consumables, long term R&D programs that is very well backed by such policies.
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What are the key CSR initiatives being undertaken by the company and plans for 2021?
Meteoric works with academic and institution backed programs. We are working with academics where we are facilitating many research activities to students at our own cost. We are also sponsoring Ph.D. Fellowship programs and also those studies which may not be economical or resource-wise viable for academic institutes.
Meteoric also works extensively for the community through its NGO, Vishal Foundation.  Vishalwin Foundation’s primary goal is to work towards different sections of society especially the victims of road accidents who are not attended immediately either due to traffic issues or shortage of Ambulances in that particular area or due to the reason where the nearest hospital is too far to reach.
We also intend to work for most innocent part of society, the children, from new born to the age of 15 who suffer from rare & chronic diseases like Down Syndrome, ADHD, Autism, Thalassemia, Dyslexia, Progeria, Cancer, HIV to name a few.