VANCOUVER, March 5 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - Dragon Pharmaceutical Inc. ("Dragon" or the "Company" TSX: DDD; OTCBB: DRUG; BBSE: DRP), a leading international pharmaceutical company today announced the Company has increased its annual production capacity for its core products 7ACA and Clavulanic Acid by 30% and 56% respectively in order to meet increasing demand from its customers. Meanwhile, two new products Ceftazidime and Cefalexin, which were commercially launched in January 2008, have been added to Dragon's product portfolio.
In October 2007, Dragon successfully adopted an enzymatic process to its production of 7ACA. The enzymatic process is an environmentally friendly technology and the Company is now in the process of converting its entire production to incorporate this innovative technology. Once fully implemented, Dragon expects to further increase its manufacturing capacity from the current 600 tons to 780 tons yearly. The process will lower production costs by approximately 10% and additionally will reduce the amount of capital investment pertaining to environmental issues.
Annual production capacity of Clavulanic Acid has also been increased from 50 tons to 78 tons as a result of the addition of a new 120 ton capacity fermentor. As the first and largest producer of Clavulanic Acid in China, Dragon's sales have increased dramatically, rising from 16 tons in 2005 to 39 tons in 2007.
With a core business strategy to become a leading vertically integrated antibiotic drugs manufacturer, the Company will continuously broaden its product portfolio. In January 2008, Dragon successfully launched two new products, Ceftazidime and Cefalexin, to the Chinese market. Given the high demand for these drugs in the Chinese market, these two products are expected to become Dragon's growth driver in the coming years.
Ceftazidime is a third-generation cephalosporin antibiotic, a downstream product for 7ACA, and has broad-spectrum activity against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. Since Ceftazidime is effective against bacteria resistant to Ampicillin and other cephalosporin drugs, the demand in Chinese market has been increasing dramatically, with an average annual growth rate of 200% in the past few years. The Company's production output of Ceftazidime in crude powder form is projected to be 100 tons in 2008 and most of the product will be supplied to a long-term customer.
The Company has also introduced Cefalexin into its product portfolio. Cefalexin is a first-generation cephalosporin antibiotic but its chemical composition makes it effective in treatment of patients that show sensitivity to penicillin drugs. Cefalexin is widely used to treat urinary tract infections, respiratory tract infections, skin and soft tissue infections.
In support of strategies to expand Dragon's market share for antibiotic formulation products in Chinese market, the Company is also pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Yimin Guo as the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Shanxi Weiqida Pharmaceutical Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dragon Pharma. Mr. Guo will oversee all sales and marketing activities in both Chinese and international markets. Mr. Guo has over 20 years of extensive sales and marketing experience and expertise in antibiotic drugs industry in China. Prior to joining Dragon, Mr. Guo served as the Sales Director at Harbin Pharmaceutical Group, the largest producer of antibiotic drugs in China. "We are very pleased to have Yimin joining our executive management team," said Dragon Chairman and CEO Mr. Yanlin Han. "Yimin's expertise in sales and marketing, coupled with his depth of knowledge in the Chinese antibiotic industry, will be invaluable to Dragon and will further bolster our strong sales and marketing division. Dragon is experiencing rapid growth and we are pursuing the goal of becoming a leading vertically integrated antibiotic drugs manufacturer. We believe that Yimin will be a strong addition to our leadership team as Dragon continues to execute growth strategies and create value for shareholders."
About Dragon Pharmaceutical Inc.
Dragon Pharmaceutical, headquartered in Vancouver, Canada, is a leading manufacturer and distributor of a broad line of high-quality antibiotic products including 7ACA, a key intermediate to produce cephalosporin antibiotics, Clavulanic Acid and formulated cephalosporin antibiotic drugs. Dragon is the third largest 7ACA producer and the first manufacturer and market leader of Clavulanic Acid products in China. Dragon utilizes its nationwide sales distribution network, close customer relationships, understanding of local markets and customer needs and low cost structure to outperform its international and domestic peers. With an annual capacity of 780 tons, Dragon is the largest exporter of 7ACA in China. To learn more about Dragon Pharmaceutical Inc., please visit http://www.dragonpharma.com.
This press release contains forward looking statements, including but not limited to, that the Company will continue to experience growth in sales of its main products, that it will continue to be able to improve its production technology and efficiency, that it will continue to achieve continuous growth in business and profitability in the near future. These statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated in the forward looking statements. Readers should not place undue reliance on forward looking statements, which only reflect the views of management as of the date hereof. The Company does not undertake the obligation to publicly revise these forward looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances. Readers should carefully review the risk factors and other factors described in its periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
CONTACT: Dragon Pharmaceutical Inc., Maggie Deng, Chief Operating Officer, Telephone: (604) 669-8817 or North America Toll Free: 1-877-388-3784, Email: email@example.com, Website: http://www.dragonpharma.com
|SOURCE Dragon Pharmaceutical Inc.|
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