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Wednesday,September 23,2020 10:01 AM

$4.2m drug project starts

By Vision Reporter

Added 8th July 2005 03:00 AM

AN Asian-based firm, Afro-Alpine Pharma, together with Sunco Limited, owned by businessman Charles Mbire, have launched a $4.2m project for the production of Artemisia annua, a compound used in an anti-malaria drug, artemether.

AN Asian-based firm, Afro-Alpine Pharma, together with Sunco Limited, owned by businessman Charles Mbire, have launched a $4.2m project for the production of Artemisia annua, a compound used in an anti-malaria drug, artemether.

By Teopista Nankya
AN Asian-based firm, Afro-Alpine Pharma, together with Sunco Limited, owned by businessman Charles Mbire, have launched a $4.2m project for the production of Artemisia annua, a compound used in an anti-malaria drug, artemether.
Ashok Chauhan, the Afro-Alpine managing director, told reporters at the Sheraton Kampala Hotel on Thursday that $2.2m would be injected in the cultivation of the crop in Kabale, Kisoro, Kanungu, Ntungamo and Rukungiri districts.
Chauhan said 11 sites were being used to prepare 14 million seedlings to be planted on 2,000 acres in September.
“The project is a huge undertaking. Five hun-

dred million people die of malaria annually, 80% of these in Africa. We would like to provide an affordable malaria drug to Ugandans through the production of artemether locally,” Chauhan said.
He said in a joint venture with CIPLA, a leading pharmaceutical firm in Asia, they will set up a $2m plant in Kabale mid next year to produce artemether.
Chauhan said they will employ 1,500 outgrowers in the first year to produce 2,600 tonnes but would double production in the second season.
“The project will create employment for the locals and revive the economy in south-western Uganda after the collapse of the pyrethrum industry,” he said.
Sunco’s chief, Charles Mbire urged the Government to be self-reliant in the fight against malaria through the promotion of local pharmaceutical industries.
“The project will be a starting point for the treatment of malaria in Uganda since producing the drug locally will make it cheaper compared to what it costs on the international market,” Mbire, (pictured) said.
Ends

$4.2m drug project starts

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