Science

2 years on, markets still hypo about herbal diabetes drug

M Somasekhar Hyderabad | Updated on January 19, 2018 Published on February 05, 2016

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Ayurvedic formulation BGR-34 was developed by two CSIR labs and launched in 2014

A ‘Developed in India’ herbal-based drug to control diabetes is showing promise.

The drug intends to provide relief for the diabetic in terms of reducing the painful insulin injections, avoid impact on vital organs, improve immunity, provide anti-oxidants and bring down the overall cost of controlling the lifestyle disease, which is on the rise in the country. Among several claimed anti-diabetic herbal solution, BGR-34 is the first scientifically validated one.

In its development, two CSIR laboratories — The Central Institute of Medicinal & Aromatic Plants (CIMAP) and the National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI), both from Lucknow — have played a significant part. Now, a private company, AIMIL Pharmaceuticals, which obtained the technology, is marketing it cost-effective price across the country.

The drug BGR-34 (Blood Glucose Regulator) combines the positive medicinal effects of six plants mentioned in Ayurveda. The CSIR labs screened 500 herbs and selected these plants with anti-diabetic properties. All the required trials and regulatory procedures were completed, said SP Shrivastava, Business Director of the Delhi-based AIMIL Pharmaceuticals.

Though the drug was launched on February 22, 2014 by Vice-President Hamid Ansari, it has become a challenging task to market the drug, convincing both medical practitioners and patients. “We feel the scientific validation, the quality controlled production and the affordable pricing (₹5 per tablet) and the good control of glucose levels in the users will eventually help in the acceptance of the drug,” Shrivastava told BusinessLine.

The 30-year-old company with a turnover of ₹120 crore had earlier got technology transfer from the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) for the drug Lukoskin, which is effective in the treatment of Leukoderma, a skin disease and marketed it. It has two manufacturing units — one in Delhi and the other at Solan in Himachal Pradesh.

The company has developed a candidate drug for the treatment of primary kidney disease. Uncontrolled diabetes is the primary cause for the problem. It needs necessary trial and regulatory approvals, he said. The developers claim that BGR-34 is as efficient in lowering blood glucose as Metformin, the frontline drug in the management of diabetes.

Nod from Ministry

According to AKS Rawat of NBRI, “While modern diabetes drugs are known for side-effects and toxicity, BGR-34 works by controlling blood sugar and limiting the harmful effects of other drugs”.

The drug has been approved by AYUSH, the Ministry for Traditional Indian medicines.

Published on February 05, 2016
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