Ajanta Pharma and Ranbaxy Laboratories are close to finalising a co-marketing agreement for the 'ethical' promotion of 'Carofit', an anti-oxidant brand from Ajanta's stable. As per the agreement worked out by the companies, Ranbaxy will take up nation-wide marketing of Carofit under a different brand name.
The deal is likely to be formalised by end-May 1999, Ajanta Pharma officials revealed. A second meeting of the two sides is scheduled in May first week to decide on profit-sharing. Ajanta Pharma will manufacture the product for Ranbaxy at its formulations facility in Aurangabad. Ranbaxy is yet to decide on the brand name.
Carofit is a research-based product of Ajanta Pharma. The company has filed an US patent in September 1998 for the unique extraction process of natural beta carotenoids from carrots followed by an Indian patent. Unlike other anti-oxidant preparations available in the market, Carofit provides natural beta-carotenoids along with anti-oxidants, Ajanta Pharma officials claimed.
Anti-oxidants have been proved to quench cell oxidation, thereby slowing down the ageing process of various body tissues and organs. Anti-oxidants are a popular co-prescription product for cancer patients, persons with cardiac ailments and for diabetes.
Carofit was launched in October 1998 in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh. The brand had notched up Rs 80 lakh sales in the first six months.
The national market for anti-oxidants is estimated around Rs 50 crore. 'Antoxid' of American Remedies is the brand leader in this segment with Rs 14 crore sales followed by 'Selace' from Universal Generics.
According to Anoop Bhargava, general manager - marketing, Ajanta Pharma, Carofit will soon be launched in other states as well. "We are targeting an annual growth rate of 100 per cent for the next three years," he says.
Its other brand 'Ruffage', a diet modulating fibre, was launched in March 1999, in the southern states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala. Ruffage is a combination of soluble and insoluble fibres unlike the other products in the market, which contain only insoluble fibres.
Ruffage, available as granules, binds with body fats and dietary fats to form a complex thereby causing early satiety. The company is promoting this product for people with cardiac ailments and diabetes and as an anti-obesity drug.