The patented herbal blend tablet Inlacin is made from two local Indonesian plants – Lagerstroemia speciosa and Cinnamomum burmanii. Two clinical trial phases back its efficacy as a supportive treatment for Diabetes mellitus Type-2.
The product took six years for Dexa Laboratories to develop and has been on the market as a traditional herbal medicine for around a year in Indonesia. The firm has partnered with independent consulting firm Phytonet AG to push the product on a global scale.
Dr. Cem Aydogan, CEO for Phytonet AG, said while the ingredients of Inlacin are well-known, “the blend and processing is important”.
“The scientific back-up is great. As a physician myself, I’m very excited about this product,” Aydogan told FoodNavigator-Asia.
The tablet is available in two doses – 50mg and 100mg – and it has been shown to effectively manage blood sugar levels by prompting increased glucose uptake and decreasing the insulin resistance level before and after diabetes development.
Aydogan said that the lack of side-effects was also a key selling point.
Diabetes – tackling the surging rates
The International Diabetes Federation has forecast incidence rates will rise from 240m in 2007 to 380m in 2025, with 60% coming from Asia.
Dexa Laboratories noted that “standardised herbal drugs that have been used as anti-diabetics are still rare. Clinically proven safe and effective herbal anti-diabetic medicines are even scarcer”. This, it said, was what prompted its development of Inlacin.
Work is underway to gain traction in European and wider Asian markets, Aydogan said.
Germany will be one target within Europe, as it “is one of the key EU markets for traditional herbal medicines and other herbal extracts. However, it is also one of the most difficult to enter because it is very rigid and highly regulated”, he said.
Phytonet therefore wants to have a pre-submission meeting with the country’s drug authority BfArM to discuss requirements for market entry, he said, meanwhile the focus is on Eastern Europe – Russia and Serbia.
Discussions with both countries have commenced, he said, however the strategy will be to bring the herbal preparation Inlacin to market as a supplement not a ‘herbal drug’ as in Indonesia.
There are several complexities when entering a product into Russia, Aydogen detailed. A company must have at least one clinical trial conducted on ‘Russian soil’ and the product must be reduced to its raw material and register this in the country - only then can you take the product to market in Russia, he said.
“As well as targeting EU markets, we also want to target other Asian countries,” Aydogan said.
In terms of expansion, focus is on Eastern Europe (40%), Asia (40%) and Europe (20%).
“The US market is somewhere we may look to later on but while it is the easiest to enter, it is the most difficult to compete in as marketing costs are very expensive and there are very low outcomes,” he said.
China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, the Philippines, India and Thailand will all be target markets, Ayodan revealed, although he said the latter two would be unlikely as accessibility to relevant authorities in Thailand is difficult and India has a strong herbal medicine market.
China and Malaysia are key target markets in Asia, he said, as there are extensive opportunities in China due to the population size as well as ease of entry and Phytonet has its headquarters in Malaysia.
The firm will enter the product into China as a supplement initially, as it is a simpler route to market, Aydogan said, but will also work on registering it as a herbal drug.