Cipla Limited is an Indian multinational pharmaceutical and biotechnology company, headquartered in Mumbai, India. Cipla primarily develops medicines to treat respiratory, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, diabetes, weight control and depression; other medical conditions.
It was founded by Khwaja Abdul Hamied as ‘The Chemical, Industrial & Pharmaceutical Laboratories’ in 1935 in Mumbai. The name of the Company was changed to ‘Cipla Limited’ on 20 July 1984. In the year 1985, US FDA approved the company’s bulk drug manufacturing facilities. Led by the founder’s son Yusuf Hamied, a Cambridge-educated chemist, the company provided generic AIDS and other drugs to treat poor people in the developing world. In 1995, Cipla launched Deferiprone, the world’s first oral iron chelator. In 2001, Cipla offered medicines (antiretrovirals) for HIV treatment at a fractional cost (less than $350 per year per patient).
In 2013 Cipla acquired the South African company Cipla-Medpro, kept it as a subsidiary, and changed its name to Cipla Medpro South Africa Limited. At the time of the acquisition Cipla-Medpro had been a distribution partner for Cipla and was South Africa’s third biggest pharmaceutical company. The company had been founded in 2002 and was known as Enaleni Pharmaceuticals Ltd. In 2005, Enaleni bought all the shares of Cipla-Medpro, which had been a joint venture between Cipla and Medpro Pharmaceuticals, a South African generics company, and in 2008 it changed its name to Cipla-Medpro.
Cipla sells active pharmaceutical ingredients to other manufacturers as well as pharmaceutical and personal care products, including Escitalopram (anti-depressant), Lamivudine and Fluticasone propionate. They are the world’s largest manufacturer of antiretroviral drugs.