In today’s environment of a knowledge-driven economy, focus on research and innovation is imperative for any enterprise to succeed. Mother Nature is the biggest chemist synthesizing a wide variety of interesting and amazing chemical moieties with potential benefits to mankind. We at Sabinsa endeavor to tap this immense natural potential to bring out products with the goal of “Design to Delivery.”
The R&D center is responsible for constant improvements in productivity, cost reduction, quality improvement, and new products development of the company. To achieve this goal, several independent divisions work with a synergistic approach and help profile the product to meet international standards. These innovations have brought us not just a rising arrow in our growth chart, but also have won several accolades and awards, both national and international.
SCORPORATE R&D CENTER, PEENYA, BENGALURU
This strategic decision making centre houses the core R&D and Administrative/ Executive facility. Concepts for the several innovative products from Sabinsa are originated in these laboratories and successfully commercialized.
This division forms the core of the company and has played a significant role for the organization to reach its present status. The team is basically involved in developing and optimizing extraction processes to obtain standardized extracts from identified natural sources. Other core activities of this division include identification, isolation, and characterization of bio-actives.
Because of high-level of dedication shown by the team, Sabinsa has been able to skillfully commercialize standardized phytoextracts that function as nutraceuticals, cosmeceuticals or nutricosmetics to meet the ever increasing global needs.
The department is well-equipped among many other sophisticated equipments like Nikon Eclipse Ci Microscope attached with digital Nikon Camera DS-Ri 2. This division is supported by Pharmacognosy department, another important part of our R&D unit, in authenticating the raw materials used in the production for their morphological and microscopic characteristics.
Synthetic Chemistry department mainly focuses on development of new bioactive molecules for pharmaceutical as well as cosmetic applications. A plethora of synthons made at this facility extends to peptides, sugars, natural products, peptide and natural active hybrids, chiral molecules, drug intermediates, markers etc. This is why Sami Labs' catalog of specialty chemicals gets regularly updated with new and valuable additions.
For each molecule that goes to pilot/production scale, the scientists at the R&D facility constantly strive to simplify synthetic routes to enable easier scale-up, better costing with a focus to be environmentally benign. A long list of publications and patents support the high-quality research that the department is involved in.
The department also undertakes synthesis of customer-based natural molecules and/or corresponding metabolites as well as other general organics for various biophysical studies. Several research institutes and universities in India and abroad are in touch with the department and make use of our expertise.
The main focus of this division is on micropropagation of elite clones of plants with significant bioactivity. It also works on selected rare plants for propagation, through tissue culture techniques in the laboratory.
The typical steps followed are:
- Isolation of high yielding varieties
- Rapid multiplication of selected plants through tissue culture technology
- Field trials of the multiplied varieties
- Supply the plant to contract farmers for large-scale cultivation
Some of the plants that have been cultivated through tissue culture are Coleus forskohlii, Curcuma longa and Allium sativum. Newer techniques are also being developed for secondary metabolite production through callus culture.
Sami Labs is an agriculture-based company. The Agri-biotechnology team at Sami Labs is engaged in prospection of elite genotypes of high value medicinal and aromatic plants, ensuring desired planting material of a specific crop suitable for commercial cultivation in a specific climatic zone, developing agro-techniques and standardizing post-harvest technologies and transferring these to the field through contract cultivation.
With the philosophy of ‘Cultivation leads to conservation and reduces the burden on wild resources,’ we pioneered the cultivation of Coleus forskohlii in India on thousands of acres, followed by commercial cultivation of turmeric, amla, tulsi and many other medicinal plants. The introduction of Coleus forskohlii from the wild to successful commercial cultivation by Sami Labs ensured the sustainable utilization and conservation of this valuable medicinal crop. Efforts to develop plant extracts as a source of concentrated natural, nutritional supplements is a research priority of the group. Modified hydroponic techniques for enriching various micronutrients, viz. iron and zinc in green gram and selenium in garlic have been discovered and translated to successful launch of commercial products.
Our analytical R&D lab has been audited and accredited by National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) for its validated testing protocols. Equipped with State-of-the-art facility to meet international standards, this division plays a pivotal role in setting the product standards and ensuring the adherence to these set of qualities.
An array of modern equipments are deployed in this division so as to characterize various extracts and newer molecules, and evaluate quality of each product in a more precise and conclusive way. Various highly sophisticated instruments present in this laboratory include HPLC, GC, LC-MS, HP-TLC, HATR, CHNS analyzer, GC-MS, NMR (300 MHz), ICP-MS, LCMS-MS, GCMS-MS.
To comply with the varied quality requirements globally, the Analytical R&D ensures quality of the finished products with regard to
- Method developments and their validation
- Bio-active content (assay/purity)
- Limitations of heavy metals, residual solvents and pesticide residues
- Other physical and chemical parameters as per the specifications
- Recovery studies of various formulations
Biological research division of Sami Labs is also NABL-accredited. It mainly focuses on developing safety & efficacy profile of the products by screening through an elaborate series of in vitro methods that does not involve testing on animals.
The team has been instrumental in evaluating numerous phytoingredients and cosmecueticals for their safety and efficacy using a battery of in vitro testing technologies in the following fields of research, and the lab is well-equipped with sophisticated instruments like Flow cytometer, RT-PCR.
- Antioxidant studies
- Anti-inflammatory studies
- Skin lightening/tanning studies
- UV protection studies
- Wound healing studies
- Hair growth studies
- Sebum regulation studies
- Anti-obesity studies
- Anti diabetic studies
- Dermal irritation studies
- Ocular irritation studies
- Cytotoxicity studies
- Mutagenicity studies
The microbiological division provides analytical support to R&D in line with GLP requirements by developing microbial testing methods for new products. In addition, it takes care of testing of all products like herbal and synthetic active ingredients, nutraceutical & cosmeceutical formulations, probiotics etc. for microbiological quality parameters.
The team is responsible for carrying out other activities like determining the preservative efficacy in a wide range of nutraceutical and cosmeceutical formulations, performing antimicrobial activity against a broad-spectrum of bacteria and fungi, including anti-acne and anti-dandruff studies. The division is well-resourced with class 10,000 area with Laminar Air Flow Unit and Biosafety Cabinet, anaerobic chamber, bacteriological & BOD incubators, autoclaves & hot air oven.
The biotechnology division has developed stable probiotics and enzyme complexes. Experiments on biocatalytic conversion to enhance better recovery of certain bioactives are carried out here. Some of the key areas are:
- Isolation and screening of microorganisms
- Development of high yielding strains for protein /enzyme production
- Bioconversion and chiral resolution using enzymes
- Optimization of medium and environmental parameters; scale-up studies related to therapeutic proteins, enzymes, probiotics
- Cultivation of mineral-enriched yeast, and bacterial and yeast cultures for probiotic applications
SSUPER CRITICAL FLUID EXTRACTION (SCFE)
For the first time in India, an indigenously developed technology for Supercritical Fluid Extraction (SCFE) (in collaboration with Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay) has been commercialized. This facility uses liquid carbon dioxide as the solvent. The current facility has the capability of extracting approximately 45 metric ton raw material per month.
A pilot plant facility is available, which is used for initial optimization of parameters before commercial batches are taken up. The R&D function focuses on developments, scaling-up of processes, quality and cost reduction. The key products developed by this department are herbal extracts, spice oleoresins/extracts. Several products developed by this department have made their way to local and global commercial market.
The advantages of using Carbon dioxide as the solvent are: Mild process conditions (has near ambient critical temperature), Generally Regarded as Safe (GRAS) for food products, easily available, non-toxic, no residual solvents in the final product, non-flammable and inert to most materials.
The formulation R&D division forms the convergence of various product concepts that have been developed as ingredients. Bioactives, based on their activity and functionality, are mold into various forms based on their nutraceutical, cosmeceutical, nutricosmetic as well as food & beverage applications.
- Nutraceutical and Nutricosmetic formulations
- Cosmetic and Personal Care formulations
- Functional Food and Beverage formulations
Development of prototypes for a number of solid, liquid and semisolid dosage forms, dietary supplements, personal care range cosmetics and functional food concepts is the core activity of this division. Formulation R&D division plays a major role in providing solid foundation for the business development activities.
This unique combination of various scientific divisions of the R&D help the company right from the cultivation of the plant materials through research to characterize and perfect a new product, study its biological activities, toxicity and safety, preparation and testing of formulation prototypes and catering to customers’ specific needs.
There are other divisions like Regulatory Affairs and Technical Support that work collaboratively with all the R&D units and Marketing arm of the company, and provide necessary support required at multiple levels.
The Regulatory Affairs department is an important part of the organization. Internally it liaises at the interphase of drug development, manufacturing, marketing, and clinical research, while externally it is the key interface between the company and the regulatory authorities. The team is involved in the development of new products from early on, by integrating regulatory principles and by preparing and submitting the relevant regulatory dossiers to health authorities.
The division is also instrumental in developing regulatory strategy, arranging meetings with various agencies, preparation and compilation of questions and briefing documents, and manages all communications with the agencies.
This team works as an interface between the R&D, marketing and business development team, and clients. Being a strategically important department, technical support also plays a crucial role in providing ideas in the development of innovative new products as per market requirements.
The department co-ordinates with all sections of the company, right from R&D to QA, manufacturing units to marketing and business development teams in gathering necessary information or documents pertaining to all the products so that relevant and precise information can be passed on to customers and clients. In addition, this division supports marketing and business development team with techno-marketing promotional tools, such as product flyers, brochures, presentations and other write-ups. The team is also engaged in addressing technical queries from global offices, and providing necessary information to clients and customers based on their specific requirements.