Square Pharma gets green light for production at Kenyan factory

Construction of the project started in 2019 and civil construction work was completed in September 2021. Trial operation started in December 2021

Square Pharmaceuticals Kenya EPZ Ltd, a subsidiary of Square Pharmaceuticals, recently received the green light to start commercial manufacturing at its Kenyan facility.

The company will manufacture and sell generic pharmaceutical drugs in Kenya and the East African Community (EAC).

Square Pharmaceuticals Kenya on May 26 obtained the Good Manufacturing Practices Certificate and Commercial Manufacturing License from the Pharmacy & Poison Board of Kenya, the East African country’s pharmaceutical regulatory authority.

“It’s a big achievement for Bangladesh because Square Pharma is going to manufacture drugs in a foreign country,” Muhammad Zahangir Alam, the company’s chief financial officer, told the Daily Star.

“The news will create a positive image of Bangladesh on the world stage.”

With the approval, there’s no problem starting commercial production now, he said.

It takes some time to start marketing any drug in a brand new factory, Alam said.

Once commercialization starts in full swing, the East African region will be covered by this plant, he said.

“The start of commercial manufacturing of our drugs in a foreign country is a matter of pride for us.”

The construction of the project started in 2019 and the civil construction works were completed in September 2021.

The trial operation began in December 2021, according to the company’s annual report for the 2020-21 financial year.

Kenya’s geographical position and membership in the EAC gives it a unique opportunity to facilitate easy market access for around 15 million people in the EAC.

Any production in Kenya is considered local manufacturing in the EAC, which includes Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi.

Although it is a very disease-prone area, the pharmaceutical market is largely dependent on imports.

Nearly 80% of the total market demand is satisfied by the import of pharmaceutical products.

The Kenyan project is financed with a debt ratio of 40:60.

As part of the investment, a total amount of $12 million was handed over by Square Pharmaceuticals to Square Pharmaceuticals Kenya EPZ Ltd.

Square Pharma’s share price rose 0.14% to Tk 216 on the Dhaka Stock Exchange yesterday.

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