Can you introduce yourself and your journey to making Murli Krishna Pharma (MKPPL) the company it is today?
I am an electrical and electronics engineer, and I started my pharmaceuticals career as an export manager at Armour Chemicals in 1992. I later joined Biochem Synergy, and in 1996, started work for Ajanta Pharma in the capacity of general manager for international marketing. At the time, I was the youngest female general manager in a market predominantly dominated by men. In 1998, I established Murli Krishna Exports, a pharmaceutical API's marketing and trading company. Opportunities in the pharma market were increasing, which led me to start a new venture in manufacturing and semi-finished formulations, so Murli Krishna Pharma was born. The company was founded by Dr. Vijay Shastri and myself on 1 April 2004.
What kind of manufacturing capacity does MKPPL possess?
We have a world-class oral, solid-dosage manufacturing facility for pellets, micro-pellets, and granules, which was commissioned in 2005 and approved by the European Union (EU) and for GMP compliance by the WHO. Our plant has also been approved for compliance by major pharma companies such as Mylan, Sanofi, Dexcel, and Pfizer. Today, MKPPL has EU approval for 20 molecules, four potential IPRs, and a supply agreement with one of the leading generics companies. The company also has DMFs filed for most of our products in the US. Over the last few years, MKPPL has won a number of awards including the ‘Made in India’ award in 2016 for the fastest growing pharmaceutical company in the country. We want to continue our success and would like to be known as one of the leading global research-based, drug-delivery companies, with an expertise in novel drug delivery systems, constantly striving towards building and strengthening our intellectual property.
Can you elaborate on MKPPL’s product portfolio and which products and services are driving growth for the company?
We currently have a focus on nanoparticle products. Our product portfolio includes alpha blockers, anti-depressants, anti-fungal products, inhibitors, digestants, anti-inflammatory products, anti-coagulants, anti-ulcerative products, immune suppressants, anti-obesity products, vitamin supplements, anti-cancer products, antibiotics, and lipid regulating agents.
We take pride in developing formulations with thoughtful selection of matrix and cogent selection of polymers. We select the matrix based on the physico-chemical properties of the drug molecule and develop products using an aqueous base instead of organic solvents to avoid toxic effects that might arise from organic solvents.
How has MKPPL’s focus on nanoparticles evolved over the years?
Our R&D division has innovative techniques to allow water-soluble drugs to be layered using aqueous media. MKPPL has developed safe nanoparticles that encapsulate micronutrients and interact with the outermost layer of skin to enhance penetration and can be delivered through an oil platform. Our liposomal nanoparticle approach can be utilized for administering vitamins through the dermal route and delivering antibiotics and anti–inflammatory agents through topical applications. We have developed a transdermal oil for treating patients suffering from malnutrition, especially kids suffering from anemia.
Nanoparticles can also be effectively used for the manufacturing of ointments, such as our tacrolimus product, and solutions, such as everolimus. MKPPL has also developed a nanoparticle-based matrix which can deliver hydrophilic as well as hydrophobic drugs, using a combination of hydrophilic and hydrophobic excipients as a clear solution. This use of excipients ensures that the drug is absorbed optimally, and the nano particles ensure that the drug penetrates not only through the hydrophobic and hydrophilic channels but also through the ora serrata, which protects the eye from any foreign body entering the optical cavity.
What is MKPPL’s vision for the future?
We are a fast-growing company and hope to double our business within the next year. We have the objective to significantly advance our transdermal oil segment and plan to leverage our expertise in nano-solutions to implement technological innovations for the delivery of micronutrients using fortified oils. We believe that our transdermal oil products will be one of a kind in the market, and we want to offer a complete technical package for registrations in all regulated and semi regulated markets. We are open to forming strategic partnerships to assist us in clinical trials and help take our flagship product to market. The US is one of our most important markets as they understand and support R&D.