Duopharma Biotech Bhd was founded by pharmacists Cheah Ting Poh and Ang Bee Lian, a husband and wife team.
With an initial capital of RM30,000, the two started a trading company, which imported and marketed pharmaceutical products to doctors and hospitals.
After seven years in business, Cheah and Ang decided to engage in manufacturing activities as they saw the enormous potential market for generic drugs, cheaper alternatives to the imported originals.
Today, as one of the leading drug manufacturers in the country with a paid-up capital of RM60mil, Duopharma has equal standing with many multinational corporations in the domestic pharmaceutical market.
Duopharma was listed on the KLSE second board last July at an initial public offer price of RM2.10 per share.
The flotation exercise raised about RM27mil, , which had been partly used for the construction of a second production plant in Klang and purchase of new machinery in line with the company's future expansion plans.
The company transferred to the main board last Monday after the completion of its one-for-five bonus issue of 10 million new shares.
Duopharma presently manufactures nearly 400 items approved by the Drug Control Authority of the Health Ministry.
It supplies about 90 items to the public hospitals via Remedi Sdn Bhd, a unit of Pharmaniaga Bhd, on three-years renewable contracts.
The company's products are categorised into two main types - sterile products and non-sterile products.
Sterile products consist of injectable items and irrigation fluids (for washing and cleaning purposes), while non-sterile products include capsules, tablets, syrups and ointments, and also haemodialysis liquid (for kidney failure).
Duopharma has been granted exclusive rights by Dragon Pharmaceuticals to formulate and market Erythropoietin to South-East Asia.
The rights allow Duopharma to acquire the necessary technical and commercial knowledge on the formulation of genetically engineered Erythropoietin. Erythropoietin is a glyprotein that stimulates and regulates the rate of formation of red blood cells, a medication that is needed by kidney failure and leukaemia patients.
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