Dr Guna Muppuri, founder and CEO of Indies Pharma Jamaica Limited, stands in front of the companys signage. (Photo: Jamaica Observer)

Indies Pharma Board approves vaccine partnership

Dr Guna Muppuri, founder and CEO of Indies Pharma Jamaica Limited, stands in front of the companys signage. (Photo: Jamaica Observer)

The board of Indies Pharma Jamaica Limited has cleared the company to begin the distribution of COVAXIN from its India-based supplier Bharat Biotech.

In a notice, the company stated that on April 1, 2021, the board of directors approved the proposal for Bioprist “to consider Indies Pharma Jamaica Limited as its preferred partner for private sector distribution of COVAXIN in Jamaica after approval from the Government of Jamaica”.

A Bharat Biotec COVAXIN vial (Photo: One India)

Bharat Biotec’s website indicated that COVAXIN was developed in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) — National Institute of Virology (NIV). The indigenous, inactivated vaccine is developed and manufactured in Bharat Biotech’s BSL-3 (Bio-Safety Level 3) high-containment facility.

The site also states that COVAXIN contains immune-potentiators, also known as vaccine adjuvants, which are added to the vaccine to increase and boost its immunogenicity. It is a two-dose vaccination regimen administered 28 days apart.

Roots in pharmaceuticals

Indies Pharma began as a vertically integrated company that offered consulting, regulatory, and intellectual property services to its overseas pharmaceutical manufacturers. In addition, it provides marketing and distribution services.

(Photo: Jamaica Stock Exchange)

The company started its operations with six basic prescription drug presentations in 2005. Now, according to its website, it has approximately more than a hundred drug presentations in the market. The company has also filed for over 350 drugs for licensing at the Ministry of Health in Jamaica.

Directors indicate that with all the licences on hand, the company intends to secure at least a 10 per cent share of the current Jamaican pharmaceuticals market, which has an estimated value between US$100 million and US$120 million per annum.

A laboratory worker runs clinical tests for coronavirus antibodies on a blood sample in Seattle, on April 17. (Photo: Karen Ducey/Getty Images)

Operations include Bioprist Pharmaceuticals, an independent affiliate through which Indies Pharma markets, distributes, and sells Bioprist-branded drug formulations in Jamaica, with the latter as custodian.

Its other business segment is FMCG (Fast moving consumer goods) under which it has partnered with  independent brand owners to  market and distribute beverages, dental products  and herbal supplements.

 The company is currently working on the development of two generic drugs it will submit to the United States’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for approval. 2023, in the US market, an initiative which is expected to add to revenues.