Forbes Emergent 25: Under Samina Vaziralli’s Guidance, Cipla Gets A Shot-In-The-Arm From US Acquisition

In 2011, Samina Vaziralli, a third-generation scion at Cipla, was being groomed for succession with her younger brother. Four years later he stepped out, leaving her to take on the legacy of India’s third-largest pharma company.

By 2016 Vaziralli had moved to the highest executive post, vice chairman, at the Mumbai outfit and charted an expansion course encompassing India, the U.S. and South Africa — with China and Brazil also in her sights. That included spearheading the company’s entry into the U.S. in 2015 through the acquisition of two generic-drug makers valued at a total of $550 million.

Until then, Cipla — which makes drugs to treat respiratory and cardiovascular diseases as well as cancer, malaria, and AIDS — had worked with partners in the U.S., the world’s largest pharma market, handling R&D and manufacturing but selling the drugs under its partners’ labels. “The value was all in the front-end and we wanted to own the front-end,” says Vaziralli. “We had the capability and the technology. So we decided to launch ourselves.”

The results are there to see. Revenue from the North American market has surged to $392 million in the year ended March 31, 2017, from $148 million in the year ended March 31, 2015. North America contributes 18% of total revenue, and there’s more to come as Cipla has 97 drugs awaiting final approvals from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. A further 40% of revenue comes from the domestic market and about 12% from its South Africa portfolio. For the first nine months of hibefiscal 2018, revenue from the maker of branded and generic drugs rose 13% to $1.8 billion, while net profit rose 22% to $198 million.

Vaziralli, 42, didn’t grow up with the idea of running the company, which was founded by her paternal grandfather in 1935. She did an undergraduate degree in commerce at Mumbai’s Sydenham College, then headed to the London School of Economics in 1998 for a Master’s in finance, joining Goldman Sachs in London right after. She moved a couple of years later to their New York office, then returned to India in 2004 and took a break from work to focus on family.

In 2011 she joined Cipla, where her uncle, Y.K. Hamied, is non-executive chairman and her father, M.K. Hamied, is non-executive vice chairman. The family, which has a $2.5 billion net worth stemming from a 37% stake in Cipla, decided to hand over operational control to professionals at that time. Vaziralli started shadowing her uncle and father and soon became the company’s global head of strategy and M&A.

It was a rocky period marked by top-level exits and changes in business direction. Vaziralli steadied the boat by building a second and third line of professionals. Cipla hired a CEO with whom she works closely; he handles operations and she acts as the bridge between family and management as well as family and the board. In 2015, her brother, Kamil Hamied, left to become a venture capital investor in London, something he had flagged a year before. The transition “was fairly easy,” Vaziralli says.

A key element of the Cipla legacy is affordable drugs, in particular life-saving HIV drugs, primarily in Africa. It’s seen as a savior in countries like Uganda, which were ravaged by AIDS. “There was a time when the (Ugandan) capital city of Kampala would be lined with coffin makers — when you drove up from the airport,” says Vaziralli. All that changed when Cipla made antiretroviral drugs available for less than $1 a day. “In Dr. Hamied’s words, what’s the use of developing lifesaving medicines if you can’t make them affordable to the patients?” asks Vaziralli, quoting her uncle.

As a woman in business, Vaziralli says one of the key strategies she uses for work-life balance is to set priorities. “Everyday you have to make a choice — a choice to embrace one thing and to let go of another,” she says. “You also have to create a support system.”

Her two sons sometimes do homework at the Cipla headquarters, or drop in to have lunch with her. She also makes time to attend squash tournaments with her elder son, a nationally ranked player, and whips up pastries over weekends with her younger son. And she finds respite in exercise, running three or four half-marathons every year. “My best thinking and focus has come when I am running,” she says.

This article originally appeared in Forbes Asia.

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Cipla Quality Chemical Industries Limited Bell Ringing and First Day of Trading on the Uganda Securities Exchange


Kampala. Cipla Quality Chemical Industries Limited (CiplaQCIL), a leading pharmaceutical manufacturing company in Sub Saharan Africa operating in Uganda, today officially listed on the Uganda Securities Exchange. The Listing Day event was graced by the Minister of Trade & Industry of Uganda, Hon. Amelia Kyambadde and held at Kampala Serena Hotel with the ceremonial Bell Ringing to start trading in CiplaQCIL at exactly 9:30am.

The Uganda Securities Exchange public trading floor and Automated Trading System (ATS) were relocated to the Serena, the first time this has been done for a Listing Day.

Emmanuel Katongole, Executive Chairman CiplaQCIL said,

“Today, is a key milestone not just for the Company but also for Ugandans because it is a testament to the fact that enterprise, integrity and partnerships will make your dreams come alive. We are excited for the next phase of the CiplaQCIL journey and even more so because we are embarking on this journey with many Ugandan individuals, investment clubs, and institutional investors. We are grateful for the interest and support during the IPO period as shown by the oversubscription in the institutional pool and the several thousand investors who participated in the retail pool.

Nevin Bradford, the CEO of CiplaQCIL said,

‘This public listing, is in line with our long term vision at CiplaQCIL to become a center of excellence in the manufacturing of quality, affordable and newer medicines that improve the quantity and quality of life. Since our humble beginning 13 years ago, we have made a significant contribution to the effort to save lives by arresting the scourge of dreaded diseases, such as malaria, HIV/AIDS and hepatitis B. Our WHO pre-qualified products are already approved by regulatory authorities in 19 countries, including: Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Namibia, Ivory Coast, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Namibia, Mozambique, Ghana, Ethiopia, Angola and South Sudan among others. We continue to pledge zero tolerance for any compromise in quality at our state-of-the-art Kampala manufacturing plant.’

Paul Bwiso, the CEO Uganda Securities Exchange said,

“We congratulate CiplaQCIL upon being the first company with Ugandan founders and entrepreneurs to bring their company for a listing on the USE. It is the 9th local company to be listed and as a pharmaceutical manufacturing company offers investors a unique asset. Over two thousand five hundred new investors opened securities accounts to participate in the offer. As part of the USE mandate and the leading platform for secondary market trading in Uganda we must continuously review our value addition to all stakeholders, investors, issuers, custodians, brokers and all market players. We congratulate CiplaQCIL on this historic achievement and thank them on behalf of the market.’

Robert Baldwin, the CEO Crested Capital the Lead Sponsoring Stockbroker for the CiplaQCIL IPO said,

“We are extremely pleased to reach today’s Listing Day milestone for CiplaQCIL. The turnout of new, first-time investors in the retail pool was much higher than anticipated. More than thirty investment clubs and saccos also participated in the offer, deepening the engagement of the investing public in Uganda’s stock market. Finally, this IPO is the most cost-efficient in history with less than 5% of the advertising and promotional budget of previous public offers. I commend the issuer, transaction advisors, Crested’s Special Project team and of course our regulators CMA and USE for their tireless efforts to bring CiplaQCIL to market.”

For more information, please contact Joan Okello on 0776437080.


EDITORS NOTES

Transaction Advisors

Renaissance Capital is the Lead Transaction Advisor (LTA) and Crested Capital is the Lead Sponsoring Stock Broker (LSSB) to the Transaction.

Major International Certifications attained by CiplaQCIL

  • World Health Organization (WHO) Good Manufacturing Practices for plant and products
  • International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC)
  • Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDI)
  • Kenya Pharmacy and Poisons Board GMP
  • Tanzania Food and Drugs Administration (TFDA)
  • Uganda National Drug Authority (NDA)
  • Zambia Medicines Regulatory Authority (ZAMRA)
  • Namibia Medicines Regulatory Council (NMRC)
  • Ethiopia Food, Medicine and Healthcare Administration and Control Authority (FMHACA)
  • Ivory Coast Direction de la Pharmacie et du Medicament (DPM)
  • South Sudan General Medical Council (SSGMC)
  • Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC)
  • Angola National Directorate of Medicines and Equipment(DNME)

Awards received by CiplaQCIL

  • Africa award for entrepreneurship (Transformational Business of the year: 2012 winner)
  • Landmark Africa Private Equity Deal of the Decade (Private Equity Africa: 2012 Winner)
  • Outstanding Achievement in development of the Pharmaceutical sector (Ministry of Health: 2012 winner)
  • Investor of the Year (Uganda Investment Authority: 2007 Winner)

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Zambia trial cuts severe malaria deaths by 96 per cent

[KISUMU, KENYAI] A suppository form of the common antimalarial artesunate has dramatically cut child deaths from severe malaria in a trial in rural Zambia, one of the organisations behind the programme has said.

According to the WHO’s world malaria report published in 2017, Zambia’s entire population of nearly 17 million people had an about three million malaria cases in 2016, with about seven per cent of the cases progressing to severe malaria during which patients may become unconscious.

Children under five years old are the age group most susceptible to severe malaria due to a lack of immunity and if left untreated, severe malaria can quickly become fatal, experts say.

During a 12-month trial with a suppository formulation of the common antimalarial artesunate, deaths from severe malaria cases declined from eight to 0.25 per cent despite identifying 225 and 1,215 cases respectively at the study’s baseline and endline, the researchers announced the findings today.
Pierre Hugo, MMV

“By improving access to key severe malaria medicines and improving case management, the project was able to reduce mortality from untreated severe malaria.”

Knowledge of severe malaria danger signs at a community level improved significantly, with more than 85 per cent of community health volunteers knowing three or more danger signs at endline compared to less than 50 per cent at baseline,” explained Pierre Hugo, a director at the Swiss-based not-for-profit Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV), in an interview with SciDev.Net.

Although WHO guidelines for the treatment of malaria have included recommendations for the use of the suppository form of the drug, known as rectal artesunate suppository (RAS), for over ten years, until recently there was no quality-assured RAS product on the market.

In the past this has forced malaria-endemic countries to choose from sources of drug supply that did not meet international standards.

As a result, the MMV is collaborating with two Indian pharmaceutical companies, Strides and Cipla, to secure WHO prequalification of RAS as part of a project funded by the international malaria initiative UNITAID.

As part of the trial, trained community health volunteers administered the drug to all children from six months to six years old with severe malaria cases and referred them to health facilities, with 70 per cent aided by use of emergency transport system, the researchers added.

The trial was so successful because the suppository formulation means the drug could be given even when the child was unconscious or vomiting, which is not the case for oral medicines.

The trial, which began in July last year, was conducted at Zambia’s Serenje district in partnership with Zambia’s National Malaria Elimination Centre.

Hugo said that the trial aimed to increase access to quality-assured artesunate at the community level and to reduce deaths from severe malaria in children under six by improving case management of severe malaria in children.



“By improving access to key severe malaria medicines and improving case management, the project was able to reduce mortality from untreated severe malaria and save the lives of many children, thereby benefitting these children as their families and communities,” Hugo said, adding that the project built the capacity of intervention communities and health facilities to control severe malaria in children.

Willis Akhwale, founder and executive director of  Kenya-based Continental Public Health Consulting and a malaria control specialist, says that the results indicate a significant public health impact if the intervention is rolled out.

Akwhale says.

“A 96 per cent reduction of severe malaria case fatality rate, especially in children less than five years of age through community case management of malaria, will be ground breaking,”

But Akhwale, adds that most deaths arising from severe malaria are due to anaemia, which requires blood transfusions and administration of intravenous fluids at health facilities.

Thus, it is prudent that this strategy is deployed alongside a well-functioning referral system and better equipped primary health care facilities, Akwhale explains.

“Access to health facilities remains a barrier to quality health care in most countries with a high burden of malaria,” he adds.

This piece was produced by SciDev.Net’s Sub-Saharan Africa English desk.


This article originally appeared in www.scidev.net

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Cipla’s New Triple Combination Antiretroviral Drug Approved

11 September 2018 – The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) has  approved Cipla’s latest first-line triple-combination antiretroviral (ARV) treatment for HIV. The new combination medicine commonly referred to as TLD, is a combination of tenofovir (TDF),
lamivudine (3TC) and dolutegravir (DTG).

In future, TLD will be manufactured at Cipla’s facilities in Durban and Uganda, reinforcing Cipla’s commitment to produce medicines in Africa for Africa and ensuring more affordable treatment for patients.

Head of Manufacturing for Cipla South Africa, Ajay Kumar Pal, said the reason for the new formulation complexity related to the three different processes required for the three active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). In addition to the considerable technology and infrastructure
investment of more than R48m (including a machine worth R16m), there are also additional complexities pertaining to the double coating and compression of the tablet, and the product also undergoes exhaustive testing at different stages of manufacturing.

Cipla’s investment in infrastructure aligns with the government’s request to support local industries to stimulate economic growth. Manufacturing and investment in infrastructure have been identified by the World Bank, and in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, as the
multiplier for job creation, as well as economic growth and development in any country. Cipla continues to work closely with government in this regard and to ensure that people have access to affordable treatment.

Cipla has a legacy of pioneering affordable ARVs: in 2001, it produced the world-first three-in-one fixed combination drug, available at less than $1 per day, thereby enabling countless more patients to have access to life-saving medication. This new fixed-dose combination – an addition
to Cipla’s comprehensive portfolio of HIV medication – is recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a preferred first-line regimen.

Cipla South Africa CEO, Paul Miller, said: “We’re always focused on ensuring that patients benefit by having access to quality, affordable ARVs. DTG is considered a best-in-class medicine providing many clinical benefits for people living with HIV. With DTG replacing efavirenz (EFV) in the first-line fixed dose combination treatment thereby reducing the likelihood of treatment failure, TLD has the potential to reduce overall treatment costs.”

According to UNAIDS, “antiretroviral therapy using dolutegravir has several advantages over other regimens, including clinical superiority, improved side-effect profile, and reduced risk of viral resistance”.


About Cipla

Established in 1935, Cipla is a global pharmaceutical company focused on agile and sustainable growth, complex generics, and deepening portfolio in our home markets of India, South Africa, North America, and key regulated and emerging markets. Our strengths in the respiratory, anti-retroviral, urology, cardiology and CNS segments are well-known. Our 44 manufacturing sites around the world produce 50+ dosage forms and 1,500+ products using cutting-edge technology platforms to cater to our 80+ markets. Cipla is ranked 3rd largest in pharma in India (IQVIA MAT Mar’18), 4th largest in the pharma private market in South Africa (IQVIA MAT Jun’18), and is among the most dispensed generic players in the US. For over eight decades, making a difference to patients has inspired every aspect of Cipla’s work. Our paradigm-changing offer of a triple anti-
retroviral therapy in HIV/AIDS at less than a dollar a day in Africa in 2001 is widely acknowledged as having contributed to bringing inclusiveness, accessibility and affordability to the centre of the movement. A responsible corporate citizen, Cipla’s humanitarian approach to healthcare in pursuit of its purpose of ‘Caring for Life’ and deep-rooted community links wherever it is present make it a partner  of choice to global health bodies, peers and all stakeholders. For more, please visit www.cipla.com, or click on www.cipla.com, or click on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn.


About Cipla South Africa

Cipla Medpro South Africa (Pty) Limited is the third largest pharmaceutical manufacturer in the country. Through Cipla’s ethos of ‘Caring for Life’, Cipla Medpro produces world-class medicines at affordable prices for the public and private sectors, advancing healthcare for all South Africans. For more information, visit www.cipla.co.za.

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Understanding depression and related symptoms keyto suicide prevention in SA

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), South Africa has the sixth highest rate of suicide in Africa, with the data revealingthat approximately 11.6 of every 100 000 people in the country completing suicide1. It is commonly accepted that the majority of suicides and suicide attempts occur among individuals who suffer from undiagnosed and untreated depression, with theWHO estimating that more than 300 million people are affected by depression worldwide2.

Cipla’s Associate Director – Marketing in the portfolio, Central Nervous System, Wouter Lombard, says that in light ofWorld Suicide Prevention Day on Monday 10 September, it should be emphasised that depression is in fact a medical condition.

“Just as any other organ in the body canbecome ill or affected, so too can the brain. Various factors – not just chemical imbalanceswithin certain sections of the brain, can lead to various mental illnesses, including depression3.”

Lombard explains that depression is a medical condition that can be diagnosed and treated. “It is believed that around 50% ofindividuals with depression do not receive treatment2.”

Some of the signs and symptoms of depression include problems concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions, fatigue, feelings of guilt, hopelessness, insomnia, irritability, restlessness, loss of interest in things once pleasurable, overeating or appetite loss, persistent feelings of sadness and suicidal thoughts4.

Lombard says

“If you or a loved oneis experiencing any of these symptoms, it is advisable to seek professional help. Depression does not simply go away, and there is no shame in seeking help for it,” .

According to information put together by the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG), there are a number ofwarning signs to indicate that someone is at risk of suicide. These signs include previous suicide attempts, talking about death or suicide, statements such as “my family would be better off without me”, withdrawing from friends and family, symptoms ofdepression, moodiness, changes in sleeping patterns, changes in appetite or weight, fatigue or loss of energy, feelings of worthlessness, self-reproach or guilt, extreme anxiety, agitation, excessive drug and/or alcohol use, giving away prized possessions, writing a will and making funeral arrangements5.

According to SADAG,individuals with suicidal thoughts can be empowered to seek help by understanding and identifying the warning signs within themselves.

Whether you are helping a friend, or need help yourself, contact the SADAG suicide helpline on 0800 567 567 or visit www.sadag.org for more information and help.


Sources:
1. World Health Organisation (WHO). World Health Statistics data visualizations dashboard. (2016). Available at: http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.sdg.3-4-viz-2?lang=en
2. World Health Organisation. Depression. 1–4 (2015). http://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/depression
3. Harvard Health Publishing. What causes depression? https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/what-causes-depression
4. WebMD. Symptoms of Depression. https://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/detecting-depression#1
5. SADAG. Dealing with someone who is considering Suicide.pdf.


About Cipla:

Established in 1935, Cipla is a global pharmaceutical company focused on agile and sustainable growth, complex generics, and deepening portfolio in our home markets of India, South Africa, North America, and key regulated and emerging markets. Our strengths in the respiratory, anti-retroviral, urology, cardiology and CNS segments are well-known. Our 44 manufacturing sites around the world produce 50+ dosage forms and 1,500+ products using cutting-edge technology platforms to cater to our 80+ markets. Cipla is ranked 3rd largest in pharma in India (IQVIA MAT Mar’18), 4th largest in the pharma private market in South Africa (IQVIA MAT Jun’18), and is among the most dispensed generic players in the US. For over eight decades, making a difference to patients has inspired every aspect of Cipla’s work. Our paradigm-changing offer of a triple anti-retroviral therapy in HIV/AIDS at less than a dollar a day in Africa in 2001 is widely acknowledged as having contributed to bringing inclusiveness, accessibility and affordability to the centre of the movement. A responsible corporate citizen, Cipla’s humanitarian approach to healthcare in pursuit of its purpose of ‘Caring for Life’ and deep-rooted community links wherever it is present make it a partner of choice to global health bodies, peers and all stakeholders. For more, please visit www.cipla.com, or click on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn.


About Cipla South Africa:

Cipla Medpro South Africa (Pty) Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of Cipla Limited, India and fourth largest pharmaceutical company in the private sector in South Africa. Through Cipla’s ethos of ‘Caring for Life’, Cipla Medpro produces world-class medicines at affordable prices for the public and private sectors, advancing healthcare for all South Africans.

For more information, visit www.cipla.co.za/


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