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Himalaya Soon To Enter Cancer Therapy With Innovative Herbal Drugs

Backed by its well-known research strength in the natural science and Ayurveda, the company hopes to roll out at least five key drugs to fight out the alarmingly spreading disease

Herbal drugs pioneer Himalaya Drug Company is finally ready with its plans to be a serious player in the cancer therapy market worldwide. Backed by its well-known research strength in the natural science and Ayurveda, the company hopes to roll out at least five adjunct therapy products that can supplement the first line treatments for cancer to better combat the alarmingly spreading disease.

The entry of Himalaya, the maker of Liv.52 and Septilin, into oncology has been keenly awaited as it has already established its capabilities in developing some best-in-class natural products to complement first line therapies in liver and respiratory ailments, allergic diseases among others. The Bangalore-based company has been working on cancer treatment targets in its research and development pipeline since 2003.

At Himalaya, researchers have been testing different herbal extracts to find the ones that can accelerate and improve the treatment outcome. Its main focus has been on developing herbal adjutants that can effectively mitigate the side effects of existing first line treatments such as chemo and radio therapies.

“We are at the final stages of the formulation development, including expanded and multi-centric clinical studies, with some of our most promising natural compounds currently,” said Philipe Haydon, chief executive officer, Himalaya Drug Co., in an interview with BWBusinessworld.

“And this is going to be an important and serious addition to our therapeutic focuses soon,” Haydon added.

The company is expected to launch these oncology brands in the next three to four years.
“Oncology is going to be another key therapeutic area that Himalaya is going to focus now and it will be strictly under the prescription channel as it is the case with all our pharma (herbal) products,” said T L Suresh, Business Head, Pharmaceutical Division, Himalaya Drug Co.

“The innovation that we could bring into these products (oncology) is definitely superior like all our other successful pharma brands in the market,” Suresh said.

The cancer products will come under its hospital sales division, which has about 200 field representatives at present. This division will be strengthened further with an addition of 300 people more once the cancer treatment products are launched, Suresh added.

Himalaya, which has some 4 lakh doctors in its coverage, has been steadily expanding its field force in the last three to four years as it wants to increase the market presence and revenue contribution from pharma division. The company, which has about 5000 medical representatives on its rolls, says that the team could go up to 10,000 people as it targets to touch overall revenue of $1 billion by 2020.

The privately held company, which is currently present in some 90 markets globally with mainly three areas of businesses, including pharmaceuticals, wellness and personal care and animal health, has also set an India target of $1 billion revenue by 2025. In order to expand the personal care business it has recently added baby and mother care segments and now plans to expand into male care and grooming too


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