Bacolod-based herbal supplement firm gets R&D grant
Rainier Allan Ronda (The Philippine Star) - December 5, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has issued another grant to a Bacolod City-based herbal supplement company for further development of its herbal nutrient extraction technology.

Herbanext Laboratories Inc. previously received research and development grants under the drug discovery R&D programs of the DOST-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development, which led to a standardized tawa-tawa extract capsule for dengue fever. The company is again the recipient of a grant, this time as first beneficiary of the department’s Business Innovation through S&T (BIST).

The program is designed to assist Filipino-owned companies  innovate and develop competitiveness through acquisition of new and relevant technologies – hardware or software – for research. The proposed technology acquisition with its corresponding research and technology must be implemented within three to five years with a refund, without interest, commencing on the third year of project implementation. 

The DOST said the BIST grant to Herbanext Laboratories will be used by the firm to develop local technology to produce pharmaceutical-grade extracts for the local drug manufacturing industry. 

In the coming years, Herbanext wants to scale up this technology to allow the local production of active pharmaceutical ingredients for the Philippine herbal drug industry.

Herbanext ventured into the production of standardized botanical extracts in 2008. The primary target market of the company were food supplement and functional food industries that required simple spray-drying as a method to obtain plant extracts. 

In 2017, the PCHRD tapped Herbanext to produce standardized extracts for local researchers and scientists working on new drug development under their Discovery and Development of Health Products program, during which it became clear there was a need for a versatile pilot-scale facility that can semi-purify plant extracts of unwanted compounds.       

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