Aiming at the European market

Aiming at the European market

Rahul Sehgal, President, Nestor Pharmaceuticals, reveals to Suja Nair the details of the recent MHRA approval that the company received in UK to market its products

With the UK MHRA approval to market its products in the country, Nestor (UK) marked the beginning of its expansion plans in the European market. The company would produce from the facility it had taken over from US pharmaceutical giant Schering-Plough at Mildenhall Suffolk in the UK in 2006. But all has not been easy; Nestor has invested nearly £10 million in renovating the plant to make it one of the most advanced plants in UK. Today the plant has an annual capacity to produce over 1 billion tablets, 500 tonnes of semi solids and 15 million beta lactum (API) capsules.

How difficult was it to get MHRA approval?

It was definitely a difficult task to get the MHRA approval. The facility that we had acquired from Schering-Plough was a non-operational facility with an expired manufacturing licence. So we had to literally start from the beginning, it was indeed a Herculean task to completely revamp the facility. We needed to rebuild the entire facility that included a complete redesigning and installation of state of the art HVAC systems. The packaging facility for the solids was designed and built from the scratch to the highest standards. A separate new betalactam block was also constructed and set-up with its dedicated HVAC. The good designs and ergonomics of the facility complied with well laid out quality systems facilitated towards the achievement of the MHRA approval procedure. The manufacturing licence application was filed once the facility was in its state of readiness to request the MHRA to audit the same.

For which products did Nestor (UK) get permission to market in UK?

Nestor (UK) manufactures the following dosage forms in its facility like oral solids, tablets that are both film coated and sugar coated, semisolids, creams and ointments in jars and tubes, betalactam antibiotics, oral hard gelatine capsules. These are some examples the product range is not limited to the above mentioned categories and can be extensive.

Any plans for further expansion in Europe through M&As?

Nestor Pharmaceuticals will consolidate its position and operations in the UK prior to any further expansion plans in Europe. The next step would be the foray in Germany and France. The possibility of M&As cannot be ruled out in the future for expanding the business.

What was the rationale behind the Schering-Plough deal?

The main factors that influenced the taking over of Schering-Plough’s defunct facility was because of its large infrastructure with ample scope for future expansion, its large storage/warehousing space, its proximity to the sea port, well developed infrastructure and frequent connectivity with the prominent motorways in the vicinity. Nestor UK has invested nearly to the tune of 10 million pounds for restarting the plant.

What are the marketing initiatives taken by the company and what are your future plans following the MHRA approval?

Nestor (UK) has been operating as a contract manufacturer to the various generic companies in the UK. Several agreements have been made with various generic houses to apply them with cost effective and better service levels.

Nestor UK is already operating as a manufacturer in UK and would be exporting to the other European Union (EU) states in the near future.

suja.nair@expressindia.com