Eskayef Bangladesh Ltd is one of the largest and fastest expanding pharmaceutical companies in Bangladesh. The company, which has its headquarters in Dhaka (the capital of Bangladesh), is also known as SK+F and is a part of the Transcom Group. SK+F Eskayef Bangladesh Limited was born from the old facilities of SmithKline & French in Bangladesh when the company was restructured to form GlaxoSmithKline in 2000.
The company is involved in the manufacture and distribution of a diverse range of pharmaceutical products and therapeutic drugs. The company also has interests in the production of veterinary drugs and animal nutrition products. Annual sales are approximately Taka 2bn (€200m, £140m).
The company started its production of pharmaceuticals with the manufacture of generic products for the domestic market but has since moved into bulk products and the veterinary market. SK+F Eskayef Bangladesh currently manufactures and markets 28 different animal health products in 57 different dosage forms.
EXPANSION OF FACILITIES
With the growing success of the company in Bangladesh, it was decided in 2004 that manufacturing facilities at the company’s Dhaka plant in the Tongi industrial park had to be expanded for continued success. Elomatic, a Scandinavian pharmaceutical engineering and construction consultancy, was given the task of designing a new production facility in September 2004.
The scope of the contract was to include conceptual, basic and detailed design and also validation of the new site to European standards including several new production blocks. The design was completed by the end of 2004. Installation and construction were started in January 2005 and was completed by September 2005 with commissioning and validation taking until the fourth quarter of 2006.
Elomatic undertook the project in conjunction with an Indian partner, Pharmalab of Mumbai. A joint venture, Elomatic-Pharmalab Consulting & Engineering, was later formed in 2004. Aulis Rajala, vice president of Elomatic Bio & Pharma commented: “We got a work order from Eskayef Bangladesh Ltd, which is one of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in Bangladesh.
“Currently we are working on the detailed design of [its] new production plant. The project has advanced quite quickly, because we joined the project at a stage when the decision to build a new plant had already been made.”
The project design did not work out initially. This was because the basic concept had been to adapt the existing facilities of the company to make them suitable for GMP production of European standards. It was determined that the premises were too small and the height of the rooms was not sufficient. This led to Elomatic building a complete new facility in Tongi to add to the two plants the company already has in the area.
The site was prepared during May 2005 and the piles for the foundations were driven. The design was handled from the Turku, Finland office of Elomatic and the construction work was carried out by local Bangladesh contractors. Elomatic oversaw the process using electronic conferencing and e-mail.
The new plant consists of two separate production buildings with associated infrastructure. The facility has several production areas including Cephalosporin block for production of both oral and parenteral formulations, a generics block, a pellets block and a formulation and development block.
NEW PRODUCTS AND BIRD FLU
Eskayef has continued to launch new products and 2006 was no exception, with the release of 30 new products and 13 new dosage forms. New treatments include: Mixavit (multivitamin with cod liver oil), Emezin plus (meclizine hydrocloride & pyridoxine), Salomax (salbutamol) and Arotide (fluticasone & beclomethasone), as meter dose inhalers.
The company’s new offerings also include: Zatral (alfuzosin hydrochloride), Urosin (tamsulosin hydrochloride), Uritol (tolterodine tartrate) and Urokit (potassium citrate), LUMIGAN (bimatoprost ophthalmic 0.03% solution for the treatment of glaucoma (in conjunction with Allergan) and the disinfection product Handirub (chlorhexidine gluconate and isopropyl alcohol).
With the problem of bird flu never very far away in Asia, Eskayef has also moved into this market with the release of SK-flu (oseltamivir), a preventative for bird flu available in 75mg capsules.
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