Profiles in Biotechnology, Standards, Machinery, Innovation, Global Know-how, Strategies, and Expansion - Pharmaceutical Technology

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Profiles in Biotechnology, Standards, Machinery, Innovation, Global Know-how, Strategies, and Expansion


Pharmaceutical Technology


Machining Explosive Growth

Making the most of trends

Profile: Ambica Pharma Machines


Ashok Mistry
Like many companies involved in the Indian life sciences, machiney makers are grinning broadly these days. Their client bases are growing steadily as competitive pressure pushes manufacturers evermore into global markets with stringent regulations and the need to upgrade their facilities and acquire faster, cleaner, and safer machines for production. This trend marks the days of the best machinery makers, while those less capable are being left behind. Yet, for those who have invested the time, the future is bright.

Ambica Pharma Machines (Ahmedabad) is one of them. A small player by any western standard, the company has been posting incredible growth rates, as much as 150% in the past couple of years, mainly because of foreign sales. Specialized in filling, capping, and washing machines, the company has noticed a new interest from the US market, in particular for its filling machines.

The company's chairman and managing director Ashok Mistry explains that Ambica has reacted accordingly: "We have totally renovated our own factory, installed two computer–numerically–controlled machines from the US (one milling machine, one turning center), obtained ISO 9001 certification, and taken steps to improve the quality and revamping of our production tool. The market has reacted very favorably, and we have the feeling that we did the quality improvement exercise right in time, both for local and global market."

As is the case for so many products, the Chinese competitive threat looms large, but Mistry is confident that the machines' quality and the postsales services aren't there quite yet. "Chinese machines might look quite okay at first, but actually cannot sustain comparison with our products. The metallurgy in particular is of substandard quality. Meanwhile, our machines are today able to compete with western products."

Multicard and polytalented

The future innovators of India

Profile: Cadila Pharmaceuticals Ltd.


Indravadan A. Modi
Cadila Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (Ahmedabad) is long established in India and could make global headlines in the near future. Established in 1951, the company has transformed into a vertically-integrated, multi-disciplinary player with a strong emphasis on research and development (R&D)—the field that makes India such a promising territory for the future of the global life-sciences industry. From active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) to machinery, finished dosages, and vaccines, Cadila has developed an intuitive approach to what is required from the industry today. It is therefore unsurprising that contract research and manufacturing (CRAM) activities have been added to its list of capabilities.

Indravadan A. Modi, the company's chairman, explains that Cadila's "CRAM activity is nascent. We have three small ongoing projects, all involving foreign partners. We have also just entered an agreement with one of the multinationals to develop two new generic products." This illustrates once again the rapid rise in interest on the part of multinationals to the cost and time-saving opportunities held in India. Cadila is a good example of a company that has successfully managed the transition into the post-2005 patent regime. It opens the doors of its formulation units to foreign companies and is making a point of respecting intellectual property, said Dr. Bakulesh Khamar, Cadila's executive director for research.


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