Company makes waves in industry

SHELLEY GRECO
Last updated 05:00 28/01/2014
Douglas Pharma

SCIENTIFIC FORMULA: Research scientist John Hsi uses high-performance liquid chromatograph (HPLC) to measure medicinal ingredients.

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A pharmaceutical company in Henderson has the medical industry sitting up and taking notice.

Douglas Pharmaceuticals has been named as one of 31 recipients of a government-funded grant which can grow their exploration into new medicine development.

Research and development director Peter Sturman says the subsidy will go towards the advancement of specialised generic products and adapting known medicines to treat new diseases.

"Our intention is to grow the company with this generous grant," he says.

"It gives us more confidence to pursue our plan."

The grants were introduced last year as part of changes to the funding which is now designed to encourage more local research and development.

They provide up to $5 million a year to mid-sized and large companies that are experienced in this field of work.

Founded in 1967 by managing director Sir Graeme Douglas, Douglas Pharmaceuticals is one of the fastest growing pharmaceutical companies in Oceania.

It has almost 500 staff, including those working out of the Fijian plant which opened in 1999.

There are more than 70 employees dedicated to the progression of new drug formulations and supporting these through the registration process.

The company enjoyed recent success with the approval of Clozapine Suspension, a treatment for schizophrenia becoming available in the United States.

Its annual turnover is $150m.

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