Oethmaan Biosims (Pty) Ltd. is one of the newest pharmaceutical companies to emerge on the South African pharmaceutical landscape. It is a fully 100% black-owned pharmaceutical company to cover the entire value chain of providing affordable and accessible medicines to the broader South African public. It owns its own Intellectual Property (IP) in the form of medicine dossiers and will be able to make a significant impact on the provision of affordable medicine.
The company is also particularly focused on biosimilar medicines with the expiry of innovator biological medicines and the pressure on emerging economies to address increasing costs of treating cancer and other chronic diseases.
Oethmaan Biosims (Pty) Ltd. emerged out of a company called Medreich SA. Medreich SA (Pty) Ltd. was established as a pharmaceutical company in 2003 with 74.9% owned by a foreign entity (Medreich plc, which owned pharmaceutical factories in India) and 25.1% owned by a local Black South African. Medreich SA’s core focus was pharmaceutical contract manufacturing out of its factories in India. Medreich’s key customers were Adcock Ingram, Sandoz and private label nutraceuticals to Clicks and Dis-Chem.
Medreich SA’s parent company was then bought by a Japanese company, Meiji Seika Pharmaceuticals (Meiji), in 2015. Meiji signalled that they were not keen to continue a partnership in South Africa. In July 2016, the local South African shareholder effectively became the 100% owner of Medreich SA by buying out the Japanese shareholding in Medreich SA on the following terms and conditions:
Consequently, commercialization of products would therefore require a company name change in a manner that would not jeopardise the queue of the current products in the pipeline and to update any product registrations prior to commercialisation. The company’s name was changed to Oethmaan Biosims (Pty) Ltd in October 2016.