Beacon Pharmaceuticals Ltd, a Tk 2 billion ($ 30 million) plant for the production of high-tech anti-cancer medicines, the first of its kind in Bangladesh goes into commercial operation next month (September).
"We have already started trial production and the much-awaited commercial production of the world-class pharmaceutical company begins next month," managing director Ebadul Karim told newsmen Friday during a visit to the Beacon Pharma factory.
A total of one million cancer patients of Bangladesh will be benefited once the company goes into full production. An estimated 0.2 million cancer patients are being added to the total figure annually.
A total of Tk 700 million, which is being spent on cancer treatment of the Bangladeshi patients per year, will also be saved by Beacon's contribution.
"We are not only eyeing the Bangladesh market, which is small in size, but are also targeting foreign markets especially the US and Europe," director (marketing) of the company Mohammad Akhter Hussain said.
Beacon, located on 15 acres of land at Bhaluka of Mymensingh district is a project of Orion Group.
The plant will also manufacture high-tech pharmaceutical products of very specialized categories including hormones, cephalosporins (antibiotics), anti-AIDS, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, anti-diabetics, anti-asthamatics and anti-malarials.
Telstar of Spain, a renowned pharmaceutical project developer is the consultant of Beacon Pharma.
The civil construction of the plant began on May 30, 2004.
Janata Bank, City Bank Ltd, Social Investment Bank Ltd and Agrani Bank have financed the plant.
The Beacon Pharma MD said in addition to general pharmaceutical finished formulations of specialized categories, the new project will contain a modern, totally segregated, fully automated facility for manufacturing complete range of anti-cancer products including lyophilized antibiotics.
In addition to fulfilling the domestic demand, the Beacon will also offer toll/contract manufacturing opportunity to the multinational companies that are operative in Bangladesh and importing anticancer and other specialized products at exorbitantly high prices.
"Multinational companies who don't have manufacturing plant or direct operation in Bangladesh will be allowed to use Beacon for manufacturing their products at substantially lower cost and buy-back the same for marketing in overseas market," he added.
The project is being designed, constructed and validated in compliance with the requirements of European Regulatory Guidelines and US FDA (Food and Drug Administration).
The project has created employment opportunity for around 1000 people.
"We don't need a large number of work-force as our whole operating system is run on a complete automated way," project manager Biplob Sarker said.
Cancer is a life-threatening disease with a high rate of mortality all over the world.
Every year, around 0.15 million cancer patients die in Bangladesh.
Many cases of cancer are curable if the early diagnosis and treatment can be initiated, experts said.