The North East Development Capital Fund (NEDCF) has completed its first deal investing £350,000 in Sunderland-based pharmaceutical manufacturer, Rokshaw, to increase manufacturing efficiencies and develop innovative new products.
Approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), Rokshaw is a highly accredited Pharmaceutical Specials Manufacturer and NHS accredited Unlicensed Medicines Supplier.
‘Specials’ - bespoke medicines of prescribed drugs reformulated for the needs of small patient groups - play a vital role across the healthcare industry, advancing patient treatment, increasing compliance and improving patient outcomes.
One of the largest providers of ‘specials’ to independent pharmacies in the North East - the UK region with the highest demand for prescriptions of specials - Rokshaw can manufacture over 5,000 different formulations of drugs in a variety of dosage forms (such as creams, ointments, solutions and capsules) in its purpose-built, state-of-the-art laboratory.
Clients include hospitals, wholesalers, independent pharmacies and dispensing doctors across the UK with the company supplying 1,500 different pharmacies a month. The company will use funding to increase manufacturing efficiencies in addition to developing new products with longer shelf life.
The business has agreed a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with Sunderland University’s School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences that further increases their capabilities for innovation and efficiency.
Rokshaw was founded in 2012 by brothers Jonathan and Richard Hodgson, Richard, MD, has worked in commercial management for almost 15 years and Jonathan, CEO, has 20 years’ worth of experience in sales and marketing in the pharmaceutical sector, working for major corporations such as Johnson & Johnson, Cardinal Health and Smiths Medical.
NEDCF is part of the £120m North East investment programme is available to SMEs across Durham, Northumberland and Tyne and Wear. The Fund can invest up to £2 million to support established businesses via debt finance, mezzanine loans or equity investment to help fulfil their growth potential.
Michael Dickens, Investment Manager of Maven said, “We are delighted to complete our first deal from the North East Development Capital Fund. Rokshaw has a strong market position and is at an exciting point in its development. Jonathan and Richard have combined their sales and business management skills with their substantial experience in the pharmaceutical sector to become one of the leaders in their field. We look forward to working with the team to drive the business forward and accelerate growth.”
Richard Hodgson, MD of Rokshaw, said, “We are excited to have completed the deal which enables us to significantly strengthen and scale up our business with some highly innovative projects. We would like to thank Maven and NEDCF for the investment and also thank Sunderland Council as well as the University and College for all the ongoing support which has been fundamental in our success to date.”
Cllr Graeme Miller, leader of the City Council said: “Rokshaw is an excellent example of the city’s growing knowledge economy, which is attracting new investment and creating highly skilled jobs to benefit the city, region and UK. Rokshaw’s strong expansion reflects Richard and Jonathan Hodgson’s drive and commitment, and the team’s leading expertise in a niche field.
“We have been proud to play a part in helping Rokshaw to achieve its aims, and we are delighted at its success in attracting major funding to boost its future expansion.”
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