Sharvil Patel is the joint Managing Director of Zydus Cadila Healthcare Limited which is India’s fourth-largest drug company and he is also Deputy Managing director of Zydus Pharmaceuticals Ltd. The multinational Pharmaceutical company, Cadila Healthcare Ltd. headquartered in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India manufactures primarily genetic drugs and markets healthcare treatments ranging from formulations, effective pharmaceutical ingredients, vaccines, diagnostics, health and dietetic foods, animal healthcare to cosmeceuticals. The company makes effective pharmaceutical ingredients at three locations in India at Ankleshwar plants, Vadodara plant, and Patalganga plant. The Company’s products are accessible in pills, lozenges, injections, fluids, dry syrups, powders, granules, and ointments.
Sharvil is born into a family of Cadila Healthcare Ltd which has pharmaceutical scientists and innovation enthusiasts. His grandfather, Ramanbhai B Patel, founder of Cadila Laboratories with his childhood friend Indravadan Modi in 1952(69 years ago). In 1995, the company split into two parts; Raman Patel formed Cadila Healthcare while Modi named his company Cadila Pharmaceuticals. Pankaj Patel, his father is the group’s chairman and director. Pankaj Patel has always been supportive of his son’s decisions regarding his career but Sharvil had always been fascinated by science and decided to choose a profession in this path. Pankaj Patel was also encompassed in Forbes annual list of India’s richest people in the year 2004. As of 2020, Forbes estimates Patel’s net fortune at the US $3.9 billion, propelling him India’s 46th wealthiest person.
He is now a third-generation scientist-entrepreneur, very similar to his father. He got a degree in Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Sunderland and then earned a doctorate from Johns Hopkins University school of medicine for his research on breast cancer at John Hopkins Bayview centre within the US. He came back to India after doing an internship with a global pharma company for a short period. His father wanted him to join the family business later after gaining experience and knowledge about his field and the company.
He was appointed deputy director in 2007 then spearheaded the ‘Healthy Billion’ internal programme that eventually incited Zydus into the billion-dollar association in 2011.
“It was a dream come true. Heading this programme gave rise to a lot of ideas into organisational growth, change and transformation,” he recalled.
Zydus posted a turnover of 9,800 crore-plus in 2015/16 and had consolidated revenues of nearly 7,100 crores in the first nine months of the financial year 2016/17. Around 39 per cent of the company’s income now comes from the US formulations business while 35 per cent comes from the Indian formulations business. About 17 of the group’s brands also feature among the highest 300 pharma brands in India, as per AIOCD AWACS (December 2016).
For Sharvil, staying invested in research has been the profound growth. Zydus was the primary Indian pharma company to launch a replacement chemical entity (NCE) two years ago called Lipaglyn, a unique drug to treat diabetic dyslipidemia in Type II diabetes and is now undergoing a Phase II trial in the US.
Zydus also launched the world’s first biosimilar of Adalimumab called Exemptia, to treat provocative arthritis. To take things forward, more than 1,200 researchers are working across eight research and development centres, focusing on small molecules, biologics, vaccines, formulation development and API process research. Understandably, Sharvil considers launching Lipaglyn and Exemptia as milestone accomplishments in his career so far.
In times of corona, the company has been working day night to produce suitable products for Covid patients. Earlier in April, the company, Zydus Cadila announced that its drug Virafin had received exclusive emergency use authorization from the Drug Controller General of India for the treatment of mild cases of Covid-19 as it confirms the reduction in need of oxygen support and improves the recovery rate of patients. Results show that patients treated with Virafin tested negative in seven days with 91.15 % effectiveness.
In July 2020, the company got permission to conduct human trials of the COVID-19 vaccine named ZyCov-D, from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI), Government of India. Zydus Cadila is also among the several Indian pharma companies that received licensing agreements from the Gilead sciences to produce remdesiver. The managing director of Zydus Cadila Dr Sharvil Patel recently announced the company’s Covid vaccine ZyCoV-D against the Covid-19 infection is very close to getting approved in India in May 2021. They are likely to apply for emergency usage approval this month. The company also claims the Covid vaccine to be Painless which will be very beneficial and relieving. The company plans to ramp up the vaccine’s output to 3-4 crore doses per month and is already in discussions with two other manufacturing companies for the same. Sharvil Patel has said that as soon as the approval is granted, Zydus Cadila will start the production of Covid-19 vaccines from July.
(Author of the article Khushi Masarani. Khushi is independent writer & blogger in space of Healthcare & life sciences. The views expressed in the article are solely those of the author in her private capacity)