Probiotics are live microorganisms, which are commonly known as good or friendly bacteria. It is unfamiliar to consider bacteria as something useful. We used to take antibiotics to kill harmful bacteria when we catch an infection. However, probiotics are preparations of beneficial bacteria or yeast that can promote a healthy digestive tract and a healthy immune system.
For the first time, a probiotic preparation will be introduced to the Egyptian pharmaceutical market. The Biomedical Research Department in Heliopolis University for Sustainable Development (HU) is developing the preparation. The department will present it as a natural food supplement in sachets form and in the recommended doses for adults and children. ATOS Pharma, SEKEMs company for phytopharmaceuticals, will process the product, which is currently under registration in the National Nutrition Institute. This will make ATOS Pharma to be the first national company producing and marketing a probiotic supplement product.
“When it comes to bacteria, people think of it as something harmful”, says Dr. Gihan Rabeh, the project director at the Biomedical Research Department of HU. “However, the human body is a complex ecosystem containing trillions of useful bacteria and other microorganisms.” The probiotic preparation is considered as a natural replacement to the lost beneficial bacteria, thus enhancing immunity and improving the gut function. Clinical studies believe that probiotic therapy can help treat several gastrointestinal illnesses, for instance.
Local alternatives to tackle the economic challenges
“It has been three years, since we started conducting researches and experiments about probiotics at HU. We want to introduce efficient probiotic product that is able to compete in the market with its imported counterpart, regarding potency and quality”, Dr. Gihan recalls. “Producing local, trustworthy, affordable alternatives to the foreign products will absolutely help in tackling the existing economic challenges”, the director explains.
The Egyptian pharmaceutical market is currently facing difficult circumstances after the local currency depreciation. For instance, the price for the available medicinal drugs increases and there is shortage of other imported ones. It is a challenging situation that reveals the inevitable necessity of fostering medical research and applying its verified results, thereby encouraging the national pharmaceutical industries.
For a long time already, SEKEM understands research as a part of its value chain. Hence, the HU-probiotic preparation is unsurprisingly one of SEKEMs upcoming projects, which will be the headmost Egyptian probiotic. Such lead is not the first of its type: SEKEM introduced the project of the Bio-diagnostic items as the only local alternative in the Egyptian market before.