CCM R&D Centre Launch.doc - Bursa Malaysia Announcements

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NEWS RELEASE

MARCH 24, 2009



CCM LAUNCHES NEW RM10 MILLION
PHARMACEUTICALS
R&D CENTRE





Shah Alam


Chemical Company of Malaysia Berhad (CCM) today launched Innovax Sdn
Bhd, the Group’s RM10 million hi
-
tech research and development (R&D) centre here to
facilitate the manufacturing of ne
w and innovative pharmaceutical products
.


CCM Berhad chairman
, Tan Sri Ab.

Rahman Omar officiated the launch of the 63,000 sq ft
facility, which is the largest
in Malaysia in terms of built
-
up and houses

four main
departm
ents and managing

three new product pipelines.



Innovax has targeted almost
35

new generics products in its product pipeline until 2015 and
they are currently in various stages of research and development and approval processes.
The R&D centre is well equ
ipped with analytical, formulation and quality laboratories, and
CCM plans to purchase up to RM2 million worth of more advanced pharmaceutical and
analytical equipment within the next year.


CCM Bhd Group Managing Director, Dato’ Dr Mohd Hashim Tajudin sai
d the new R&D
centre had almost doubled the Group’s new product development capacity and had a very
strong track record with up to 90 per cent success rate in terms of product approval.


“Innovax now has an annual capacity of 2
4

new pr
oducts
’ slots
, double

that of

our previous
capacity of between 10 and 15 products
’ slot

in 2005.


“R&D is the backbone of the pharmaceutical industry and the Group’s investment in this
facility recognises the significance of cutting edge capability to progress and stay ahead o
f
the competition in this fast growing sector,” he added.


Dato’ Dr Mohd Hashim said Malaysia’s pharmaceutical industry had a high growth potential
compared to other developed countries in the region and the local pharmaceutical market
was expected to grow

to RM4.2 billion this year and was poised to expand at an annual rate
of 10 per cent.


2


“The future of the local pharmaceutical sector looks
positive

as the changing demographics,
expectations for better healthcare and prevalence of diseases among Malaysia
ns continue to
grow and contribute towards boosting the demand for pharmaceuticals products, especially

prescriptive

medicines,” he said.


Dato’ Dr Mohd Hashim also added that the current economic downturn would increase the
demand for generic medicines wh
ich were much more affordable than branded ones.


“CCM currently commands 21 per cent of the local generic drugs market which is worth
RM1.1 billion. We believe that the launch of the new R&D centre will significantly elevate our
efforts in augmenting bre
akthrough technological advancements to develop innovative
generic products. Furthermore, the Government is also giving its full support to generic drugs
as it plans to reduce rising healthcare costs during these hard times,” said Dato’ Dr Mohd
Hashim.


C
CM
Pharmaceuticals Division Director,
Leonard Ariff bin Abdul Shatar said the R&D facility
boasted a team of 30, 20 of which were scientists with specialist skills in various
pharmaceutical disciplines such as pharmaceutical technology, chemistry, clinical

pharmacology, microbiology and biotechnology.


“These professionals are well trained to conduct R&D activities which involve basic
pharmaceutical technologies

and analysis

for all oral dosage forms

and

the highly specific

niche technologies that include s
oft gel capsule technology and slow
-
release and modified
release products.


“Slow
-
release products are distinctive as they enable people to take a single
or double
dose
s

of medication daily and help to
achieve therapeutic
level of drugs in the blood for lo
nger
hours.


It provides a solution for those who need to take their medications several times daily
. We
are proud to be the only

local

pharmaceutical company in Malaysia that has embarked on
this technology

and confident that with our strengthened R&D ca
pabilities, we will meet and
exceed consumers’ expectations,” said Leonard who is also CCM Duopharma Biotech
Berhad’s Chief Executive Officer.


Besides that, CCM is also a main player in the lucrative Halal and herbal pharmaceutical
markets. The launch of
the new R&D centre will intensify CCM’s efforts to drive their
ambitions in these areas.


3


CCM, Malaysia's largest generic pharmaceutical manufacturer, is listed on the main board of
Bursa Malaysia and is a key player in the
fertilizers
, chemicals and pharm
aceuticals
industries.