- Mr. Holness said that Dr. Lowe, who is the Executive Chairman of the Eden Gardens Group of Companies, which specialises in health and wellness, has successfully linked scientific research and entrepreneurship.
- The Prime Minister was speaking at a ceremony to announce the United States Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) award of Orphan Drug Status for ‘Chrysoeriol’ to treat acute myeloid leukaemia (AML).
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Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, has praised noted Jamaican scientist, Dr. Henry Lowe, for his contribution to the development of Jamaica’s nutraceutical and pharmaceutical industries.
Mr. Holness said that Dr. Lowe, who is the Executive Chairman of the Eden Gardens Group of Companies, which specialises in health and wellness, has successfully linked scientific research and entrepreneurship.
“It is certainly important that we combine and continue to catalyse entrepreneurship and scientific research to stimulate job creation and growth. We acknowledge and celebrate the many ways in which your entrepreneurship is helping to stimulate economic growth in Jamaica; the Government applauds you,” he added.
The Prime Minister was speaking at a ceremony to announce the United States Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) award of Orphan Drug Status for ‘Chrysoeriol’ to treat acute myeloid leukaemia (AML).
The function was held at Eden Gardens Wellness Resort and Spa in St. Andrew on Wednesday, July 12.
Chrysoeriol, derived from cannabis, was developed by the United States-based Flavocure Biotech LLC (FBL), owned and operated by the Eden Gardens Group.
The Prime Minister said the FDA designation is “setting the stage for Jamaica to be a major player in the pharmaceutical, research and development, production and marketing fields”.
“The FDA’s award of Orphan Drug Status for (Chrysoeriol)… is a practical manifestation of this theory of research and development stimulating innovation,” he noted.
Mr. Holness, in commending Dr. Lowe on what is a first for Jamaica and the Caribbean, said the achievement is “just reward” for his hard work and dedication to science.
He noted that Dr. Lowe has contributed 50 years to the fields of health and wellness, science, technology, energy and the environment locally, regionally and globally.
He said that not only is he acknowledged as one of the Caribbean’s foremost scientists, but also as an outstanding author, educator and public servant “who has put Jamaica at the forefront of science and technology”.
He also applauded Dr. Lowe’s contribution to mentoring scientists, adding that “we look forward to having many more entrepreneurial scientists in the nutraceutical and pharmaceutical fields”.
In his remarks, Science, Energy and Technology Minister, Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley, said the drug’s development and the resulting FDA designation reflects Jamaica’s capacity to do quality research and development.
For his part, Dr. Lowe said Jamaica has a “golden opportunity” to make further advances in science, adding that “we need to demonstrate it to the world by supporting it”.
He informed that the FDA will be providing the FBL with US$250,000 per annum for three years to facilitate final production of the drug.
“We also might be getting about US$3.5 million to fast-track everything, because, normally, after you get to the stage we have reached, it takes another five to 12 years to get to market. Here, we can get to market between two and three years, if not earlier… and we are going after it… but we have to move quickly,” Dr. Lowe said.
The US Orphan Drug Act provides for the granting of special status to a drug or biological product to treat a rare disease or condition upon the request of a sponsor.
Orphan drug designation qualifies the sponsor of the drug for various development incentives, including tax credits for qualified clinical testing.