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Dubai Customs Thwarts Attempt to Smuggle 5m Captagon Pills

Dubai Customs Thwarts Attempt to Smuggle 5m Captagon Pills

Cooperation between different customs departments and good planning have led to thwarting an attempt to smuggle large number of Captagon pills at Jebel Ali & Tecom Customs Center, just a few days before 2019 unfolds.

The illegal shipment was tracked by customs intelligence personnel who shared the information and images of the shipment through the Regional Intelligence Liaison Office (RILO).

The Regional Intelligence Liaison Office (RILO) is a regional centre for collecting and analyzing data, which also disseminates information throughout the global customs network. As a fundamental pillar of the World Customs Organization (WCO)’s Enforcement Strategy, Intelligence and Information Exchange is facilitated through eleven (11) RILOs covering the six (6) regions of the WCO.

The RILO informed of a drug shipment in a nearby country, and by analyzing and comparing the data, the team at Jebel Ali & TECOM Customs Center decided to track similar shipment coming into Dubai in a container that had vehicle spare parts from a country that doesn’t normally trade with spare parts. The container was tracked through the smart Vessel Tracking System, developed by Dubai Customs.

The container was scanned, and with the help of the customs K-9 Dog unit, 5 million Captagon pills that weighed 500 kg were seized. This raises the number of Captagon pills seized since January 2018 to 15 million pills.

Jebel Ali & TECOM Customs Center has made 19 seizures between 2016 and 2019. These included 225 million narcotic pills and 51 kg of other drugs.

Commenting on the seizure, Director of Dubai Customs Ahmed Mahboob Musabih pointed out all customs departments work and coordinate together to combat illegitimate trade and thwart any narcotic drugs smuggling attempt.

“We are vigilant and well prepared to all attempts of bringing these illegal contrabands into the UAE through Dubai entry points. The high sophisticated level that Dubai Customs reached in terms of infrastructure, equipment and the skills of their customs officers have led to more control over the emirate’s entry points and borders following the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai” says Musabih.

Shuaib Al SuwaidiCustoms Intelligence Director at Dubai Customs revealed they track shipments on their way to Dubai’s entry points based on numerous data and intelligence resources.

Captagon was first manufactured in 1961. It stimulates the central nervous system, increases alertness, boosts concentration and physical performance, and provides a feeling of well-being. It was earlier prescribed to treat narcolepsy and depression, but the medical community determined that Captagon’s addictive properties outweighed its clinical benefits in 1980.

It was then banned in several countries, particularly after it was found, as is the case with long-term amphetamine users, to lead to extreme depression, malnutrition, heart and blood vessel toxicity, and sleep deprivation.

 

 

Leadership Shifts to Support Global Logistics Expansion Efforts

Increasing growth in Europe and India is the primary driver behind recent leadership changes for the global innovation and provider of temperature control packaging for life science and logistics company, Softbox.

Kevin Valentine will now hold the title of General Manager for Softbox Europe and brings with him over  25 years of industry experience, specifically pertaining to the leadership experience in the science and production of advanced temperature controlled packaging solutions and thermal covers for pharmaceuticals. Valentine will focus primarily on quality of innovation and client services in his new role.

Additionally, Dharmesh Chauhan, who will report directly to Valentine, will take on the role of Sales Director for Softbox Europe. and will provide support to the newly-combined Softbox and TP3 Global sales teams to further efforts of temperature control packaging and thermal cover portfolios for global pharmaceutical customers.

A third player in the industry, Dinesh Patki, will lead efforts towards growth with the full integration of TP3 Global/CLI and Softbox in India through his role as General Manager of Softbox India. Patki provides strong relationships with the Indian market that will assist in the expansion of company growth in the region.

 “Kevin, Dharmesh and Dinesh are very experienced industry leaders and I’m delighted to welcome them in their new roles within the Softbox leadership team,” Wayne Langlois, President at Softbox, said.  “By leveraging the best possible talent from within our organisation, it enables us to integrate and grow Softbox to further growth success.”

Source: Softbox Systems

 

 

First-of-its-Kind Brain Health Supplement Aims to Improve Cognition, Memory

America’s newest brain health supplement may come in a small capsule, but according to scientific studies, its benefits could be huge. Sophrosyne, a first-of-its-kind breakthrough product launched this month, has a unique combination of four mind-boosting ingredients clinically proven to improve cognition and memory.

“This is great news for seniors and anyone looking to sharpen their memory, and also for military veterans or athletes who may experience frequent hits to the head,” said Dr. Daryl Rhys Jones, a top neuroscientist formerly with the Mayo Clinic and current CEO of Jonescientific, who led the development of Sophrosyne after years of research and testing. “With its unique mix of ingredients present at clinically active doses, there is nothing as effective as Sophroshyne on the market.”

In fact, no other known brain health product in the U.S. has been developed by a neuroscientist – an expert in the development and function of the nervous system, including the brain. Dr. Jones – who has done extensive research on Alzheimer’s and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) – and his team scientifically evaluated hundreds of ingredients for their memory and cognition-building properties and produced the supplement using what they found to be the four most effective ones: withania somnifera, curcumin, bacopa monnieri and hericium erinaceus.

What sets these ingredients apart? Here’s a breakdown from Dr. Jones:

Withania somnifera. This plant – commonly known as Indian ginseng, Ashwagandha or winter cherry – has been proven to regenerate damaged brain cells.

Curcumin. A natural chemical produced by some plants, featuring antioxidant properties, this ingredient has shown to help maintain a healthy environment within the brain by removing unwanted proteins. An 18-month UCLA human clinical trial confirmed that consuming 180 mg of curcumin per day led to significantly enhanced memory and focus.

Bacopa monnieri. In at least four randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled human trials, this herb has been demonstrated to enhance cognition and memory, and decrease the rate of forgetting newly-acquired information. It was shown to prevent the breakdown of neurotransmitters essential for cognition and memory.

Hericium erinaceus. Also known as Lion’s mane due to its unique appearance, this medicinal mushroom has been found to increase levels of peptides essential for the survival of brain cells. In a 16-week double-blind, parallel-group, placebo-controlled human trial, a high dose of this ingredient was found to improve cognitive function in seniors.

“Our research shows that these four nootropic (cognitive enhancing) ingredients, consumed in a daily capsule, deliver the most impressive results in improving cognition and memory compared to any other supplement available on the market,” said Dr. Jones, who cautions against taking other brands of supplements with a large ingredient list, due to the danger of losing the protective effects of a product that likely contains only minimal amounts of each ingredient crammed into one capsule.

A daily dose of Sophrosyne contains science-backed, clinically active doses of 500 mg of withania somnifera, 180 mg of curcumin, 300 mg of bacopa monnieri and 500 mg of hericium erinaceus.

For more information, please visit: Www.jonescientific.com

Oral Insulin Moves Towards Becoming Reality in U.S., China

Diabetes is a growing concern world-wide with studies showing some 425 million adults have diabetes globally and that number is expected to reach 629 million by 2045. Now, oral insulin – the Holy Grail of diabetes care that has eluded researchers for decades, yet could improve the way diabetes is treated – is taking a major step towards becoming reality.

Oramed Pharmaceuticals Inc., a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company focused on the development of oral drug delivery systems, is working to bring the first oral insulin product to market, potentially providing a more convenient, effective and safer method for delivering insulin therapy.

The company has launched its largest and most advanced clinical trial under direction of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to date, involving approximately 285 patients with type 2 diabetes in multiple centers throughout the U.S.

Oramed’s oral insulin is currently in a pivotal clinical study going through FDA regulatory channels and would be a game-changer for the more than 100 million American adults living with diabetes or prediabetes.

The company has also signed a licensing deal with HTIT, a Chinese pharmaceutical company that is now working with Oramed to bring oral insulin to China.  More than 10 percent of the Chinese adult population suffers from diabetes, and like other areas of the world, this trend is only increasing, with some 50 percent of the adult Chinese population estimated to be prediabetic. Working with the China Food and Drug Administration to gain approval, HTIT is investing hundreds of millions of dollars into building the infrastructure to bring oral insulin to China.

Kidron explained that early insulin therapy is ideal in order to decrease the burden on a diabetic’s pancreas, potentially allowing it to continue producing insulin for longer – a position that is endorsed by the American Diabetes Association. However, he said doctors are often cautious when prescribing insulin by injection because it is a complex process that relies on patient compliance. Not only is there a danger of injecting too much insulin, but because the insulin is introduced directly into the bloodstream, only a fraction reaches the liver, often causing excess sugar to be stored in fat and muscle which results in weight gain. For this reason, injectable insulin is often viewed as a last resort.

“Our oral insulin could solve the drawbacks to injectable insulin, delivering it in a way that a needle could never replicate,” said Oramed CEO Nadav Kidron. “Not only does oral insulin offer a more convenient alternative to needles, a therapy many patients are reluctant to begin, but it also provides a more efficient and safer platform for delivering insulin by mimicking the body’s natural process of insulin going directly to the liver rather than via the bloodstream.”

With Oramed’s proprietary platform, the active insulin is protected as it travels through the stomach and into the intestine, and its absorption is increased along the intestinal wall. The result is better glucose control, reduced hyper and hypoglycemia, and less weight gain. In addition, oral insulin is easier for diabetics to incorporate into their daily routine because they simply take a pill.

“Right now, we know there are diabetics who would benefit with early insulin therapy who are simply not getting it due to the fact that, today, it is only available as an injection,” Kidron said. “By providing insulin in an effective pill form, we’re removing the barriers from both the physician and patient perspectives.”

The trial participants will take the oral pill for 90-days, with different groups following different dosing regimens at varying times throughout the day. The study is designed to show the product’s effectiveness at lowering glycated hemoglobin, a determinant of average blood sugar levels over three months and is considered the gold standard by the FDA when evaluating the drug’s efficacy.

An earlier trial for Oramed’s oral insulin – involving 180 patients across the U.S. over 28 days – demonstrated strong promise for the technology, showing it to be a safe oral insulin delivery method with no serious adverse events related to the treatment. It also indicated a significant ability to lower glucose levels, including the glycated hemoglobin gold standard. The current trial – the first to be conducted over 90 days – is hoped to show an even greater impact.

“This is our most important study to date,” Kidron said. “A year from now we will better know the potential of our drug to control and maintain blood glucose levels and will have further proof of the longer-term benefits of taking an oral insulin pill earlier on in the treatment.”

 

 

 

 

‘Emerging Markets’ Attracting US Exporters: Report

New York, NY – US businesses are increasingly looking to emerging markets for export growth in both the short and long term, according to the latest HSBC Global Connections Trade Forecast.

Even though US exports are expected to grow by about six percent per year through 2030 and advanced economies will continue to play a dominant role in US trade, the forecast predicts that China and India “present the best trade prospects, with US export growth to average nine percent a year to each country through 2030.”

Additionally, the report said, thirty percent of US business leaders participating in the HSBC Trade Confidence Index Survey (TCI) identified Asia, especially China and India, as the most promising region for business expansion in the next six months, while a quarter favored Latin America, especially Mexico and Brazil.

US Export and Import Forecast

US TCI dipped to 110 from 115 and lower than the global average of 116,” though still well above the neutral benchmark of 100 indicating that the outlook for trade continues to improve although at a slower pace than previously,” the report said.

Sixty percent of US business leaders in the TCI survey expect trade flows to increase, down from 66 percent six months earlier.

Industrial machinery and transport equipment are the key industries driving US export expansion now and into the future, while the top export destinations for the US over the medium term will continue to be Canada, Mexico and China.

However, the report said, Korea and Brazil will displace the slower growing economies of Germany and Japan over the long term to complete the top five US export markets.

Respondents said the biggest areas of opportunity in Asia in the short term are in construction and manufacturing, while in Latin America they are in wholesale and retail.

On the import side, Transport equipment and information, communications and technology equipment will continue to drive US imports.

China, India and Vietnam will be the fastest growing suppliers of US imports. Imports from China will grow by an average of seven percent through 2020, accounting for about one-fifth of all US imports.

The index is an international survey of 5,500 small and middle market businesses engaged in cross-border trade including around 250 in the US.

“Despite near term challenges, there are clearly significant export opportunities in emerging markets and the good news is US businesses are well positioned to take advantage of them, especially as global trade picks up.” said Steve Bottomley, HSBC group general manager, senior executive vice president and head of commercial banking for HSBC in North America.

“A highly educated workforce, well-developed production processes, and innovative technology will help US businesses plug into increased trade flows, while the rise of the emerging market consumer is helping to lift demand,” he said.

US Pharmaceutical and Energy Growth

One US sector that is set to benefit from the increased demand from emerging markets consumers is pharmaceuticals. US pharmaceutical exports are expected to grow by nearly eight percent a year through 2030, outpacing overall export growth for the same period.

This will help the US overtake Germany as the leading exporter of pharmaceutical products by 2030 amongst the 25 countries included in the report.

“Rising global demand for better healthcare, especially in emerging markets, is expected to trigger increased spending on healthcare over the next several years,” said Derrick Ragland, executive vice president and head of US middle market corporate banking, HSBC Bank USA.

“As a global innovator in pharmaceuticals and biologicals, US companies should find it easier to expand into or enter new markets.”

Still, the report notes that healthcare reform and an aging population will drive the US trade deficit for pharmaceuticals goods higher through 2030.

Additionally, to remain competitive, US pharmaceutical companies will need to invest in research and design to promote innovation especially as access to increased supplies of generic products from abroad rises and US patents on many major brand products expire.

Emerging markets, the forecast said, will also be a key focus for US energy trade.

“Rapidly rising production of unconventional oil and gas products domestically will help lift US energy exports by about five percent per year through 2030, while petroleum imports will fall from 12 percent in the near term to seven percent in the long term,” it said.

“Emerging markets that don’t have refining capabilities or don’t dispose of energy reserves could represent a major opportunity for US energy exporters,” said Ragland.

Overall Global Outlook

Globally, trade is expected to grow annually by eight percent beginning in 2016 from 2.5 percent in 2013.

Over the longer term, the forecast shows that global merchandise trade will more than triple by 2030 from 2013 levels, as businesses capitalize on the rise of the emerging market consumer and developing markets stabilize their productivity levels for the future.

The HSBC Trade Forecast, modeled by Oxford Economics, forecasts bilateral trade for total exports/imports of goods, based on HSBC’s own analysis and forecasts of the world economy to generate a full bilateral set of trade flows for total imports and exports of goods, and balances between 180 pairs of countries.

The HSBC Trade Confidence Index covers a total of 23 markets and is the largest trade confidence survey globally. The current survey comprises six-month views of 5550 exporters, importers and traders from small and mid-market enterprises on: trade volumes, risk to suppliers, need and access to trade finance, impact of exchange rates and regulation.

09/16/2014