New Florida drugmaker springs from debacle of another

A drugmaking entrepreneur has struck again. The owner of a Florida drugmaking company has bought the assets of a Texas company the FDA closed last year, which he will take to Florida and use to open a new company.

John Copanos is starting BioRamo in Fort Lauderdale, where it will make both branded and prescription liquids, creams, ointments and gels. Copanos already owns Fort Lauderdale-based ECI Pharmaceuticals, which manufactures tablets and capsules, the Sun Sentinel reports.

Copanos bought Deltex Pharmaceuticals of Rosenberg, TX, which the FDA in early 2011 closed because of serious manufacturing infractions. The agency got a permanent injunction against the company, its owner Kabir Ahmed, and vice president, Mohidur R. Khan, to keep them from making any more products and ordered the company to recall everything it had made since Oct. 31, 2008.

The new venture is one of a number that Copanos has started, according to the ECI website. It says in 1998 he started Kirk Pharmaceuticals, which made over-the-counter drugs, and then in 2004 opened Andapharm, which made controlled substances and hormone replacement therapy drugs. Both, the website says, were sold to a single buyer in 2006.  

BioRamo will get some public support in exchange for creating new jobs. The newspaper says it was approved for $21,600 in local economic incentives and could receive more than $100,000 from the state. The support is tied to the company's pledge to create 36 jobs in the next three years.

- read the Sun Sentinel story
- see the 2011 FDA release

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Deltex consents; will recall and destroy drugs