Indian drugmaker building nutraceutical plant

The owners of India's Gujarat Research Allopathic Foundation (GRAF) Laboratories see a future in nutraceuticals and are building a plant to realize that vision.

GRAF, which according to The Economic Times, is owned by the Parekh family, already has two conventional drugmaking plants that focus on drugs that include anti-infectives, cardio and pain treatments. But the company will invest Rs 150 crore ($21.8 million) on a plant near Ahmedabad to pump out nutraceuticals. An executive said GRAF expects the plant to be producing products early next year.

"We have zeroed down on nutraceuticals as a main focus for GRAF's future growth," Shivender Aggarwal, executive director of GRAF told the newspaper. "Initially we will target prescription sales and later enter the OTC nutraceutical segment," Aggarwal said, noting that doctors are more often turning to these products for their patients.

Other companies also have been buying or building plants that tap into that part of the healthcare market. A number of companies have bet on omega-3, the fish oil supplement which is a popular in this category. Abbott Laboratories ($ABT) last year said it was investing $270 million into a manufacturing plant in Tipp City, OH, to make its Ensure and Glucerna nutritional shakes. At the time it estimated the nutrition market to hit $9 billion in 2016.

- read The Economic Times story