SOUTH AFRICA – GESlabs has been granted a license by the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) to manufacture cannabinoid pharmaceutical ingredients for use in therapeutic medicines.

In Cape Town, the company built an R20-million (US$1.3 million) pharmaceutical laboratory that will serve local, regional, and international markets.

It will begin manufacturing immediately and ship its first batch of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) to the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Australia in February.

Despite being launched just as the pandemic hit, the ambitious project team of local scientists, engineers, and builders were able to combine on- and off-site work to complete the construction of a world-class pharmaceutical facility on time and within budget.

The company collaborated with SAHPRA from the start, sharing detailed engineering plans for the site’s construction and operational machinery lines.

GESlabs can deliver APIs for use in prescription medicines and wellness supplements by using carefully cultivated biomass and world-class technology.

Sahpra was involved in the facility’s design from the beginning and collaboratively shaped the space to ensure the final result met the organization’s and global certification’s exacting quality and safety standards.

GESlabs MD Peter Nel has voiced his gratitude to Sahpra for being a helpful partner over the last 18 months, with the organization finding time to help with the facility despite the sudden and intense pressures it faced as the central agency for Covid-19 vaccinations.

He went on to say that effective cannabinoid regulation is critical for the pharmaceutical industry’s long-term safety and reputation.

However, the relationship between SAHPRA and GESLabs is far from over. The organizations will continue to work together to ensure that standards are followed as legislation changes.

Now that the governance component has been firmly established, monitoring and reporting will ensure that standards are kept up to date as legislation is amended.

The organizations agree that ensuring the continued efficacy of manufactured medications is critical for the protection of the South African pharmaceutical industry’s local and international reputation.

According to a market report by Mordointelligence, in 2020, the global cannabis market was estimated to be worth US$22.10 billion.

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