Applied DNA journeys deeper into India, and pharma

Take a pill: You can relax -- empty pharma/nutra capsules manufactured by India-based global supplier ACG Worldwide will be more secure, thanks to a new alliance with Stony Brook-based Applied DNA Sciences.

A new professional collaboration will deepen a Long Island biotech’s ties with global pharmaceutical and nutraceutical manufacturers.

Stony Brook-based Applied DNA Sciences has signed a memorandum of understanding with India-based global pharmaceutical conglomerate ACG Worldwide, which is tapping into the Long Island firm’s molecular-based authentication services.

The MoU – which is “expected to be followed by a definitive agreement,” according to Applied DNA – will apply the biotech’s SigNature molecular tagging and authentication protocols to ACG’s line of empty, hard-shell capsules, enhancing product traceability and security for ACG’s end-user customers around the world.

Through subsidiaries like ACG North America and ACG Associated Capsules, ACG is a major international player in an empty-capsules market that Applied DNA projects will grow by 7 percent annually through 2021, eventually surpassing $2.1 billion.

Citing both the “increasing threat” of product counterfeiting and fresh international mandates for tighter supply lines, ACG Capsules CEO Selwyn Noronha trumpeted the Applied DNA alliance as “a step toward nipping the counterfeiting problem that is grappling the industry today.”

“There is a need for innovative and effective solutions for product authentication, track-and-trace and supply-chain integrity,” Noronha said in a statement. “We strongly believe that our association with Applied DNA … will equip pharmaceutical companies with greater capabilities to thwart the threat of counterfeits by providing amplified traceability solution across the supply chain.”

Applied DNA – which has labored to assemble a highly diversified customer base that includes the Department of Defense, European automobile importers and international cotton, leather and fertilizer manufacturers, among others – has made Indian inroads before, specifically in the cotton and plastics markets.

And the ACG MoU is hardly the company’s first foray into pharmaceuticals – but in its new alliance with the Indian mothership and its busy international subsidiaries, the Stony Brook product-authentication innovator sees opportunities to build out both its customer base and its tech, according to President and CEO James Hayward.

“We are excited by ACG’s development of on-dose authentication for hard-shell capsules powered by the company’s SigNature molecular tagging and authentication technologies,” Hayward said. “The ability to forensically test a capsule in the field and quickly prove its provenance is a powerful tool for all nodes of the pharmaceutical supply chain.”