Efforts to transform Barbados into the Caribbean hub for the life sciences are quickly becoming a reality.
One such product was URO 500, a supplement for the maintenance of prostate health. CEO Hill revealed that it has already been approved by the Barbados Drug Service and will be available for sale as an over-the-counter pharmaceutical product.
The collaboration with Ghana has been underway for the past 24 months through the Center for Plant Medicine Research. CEO Hill said, “We’ve been able to sponsor a plant garden in Ghana, which features 1500 plants. Barbados now has full access to these for our life sciences industry development initiative. So, we’re beginning to do what we call the ‘nutraceuticals roll out’ for URO 500 and other products, which lays the foundation for our pharmaceutical sector, whereby we started to package, market and distribute the product on the island. We intend to run some trials among Barbadian men dealing with prostate issues. Following from here, we are going to start manufacturing in Barbados for export into Latin America and the rest of the Caribbean.”
Under the life sciences banner, Dr. Emma Dash of Live Well Clinics described Export Barbados as a very important partner. The clinic, located at No. 18 Pelican Village, has placed a high emphasis on technology; it strives to provide affordable, high-quality primary health care for every Barbadian. “Live Well is embracing technology; we are soon launching watches that can test blood pressure and monitor your daily steps, monitor your sleep, and we can use all this data to improve people’s health and live well,” Dr. Dash further stated.
Dr. Dash also revealed efforts alongside Export Barbados to launch the use of the be.well testing platform by Alveo Technologies. The be.well is a molecular nucleic acid amplification testing device currently used to test for COVID-19 and other acute respiratory infections.
The platform can be adapted to detect a wide range of diseases, bacteria and other pathogens. Export Barbados intends to facilitate the development of other tests for use on the be.well platform locally, as well as demand in regional export markets in 2024.
“This test just involves a swab, and then you put it into the cartridge and into the machine, a handheld device which can be taken anywhere, and the results go directly to the physician’s phone. So, you have the results even before the patient leaves the office”.
Efforts to promote the life sciences at TIE also involved showcases of some existing companies within the local life sciences industry. Promotional materials from BioConnect Medical Centre, Lenstec (Barbados) Inc., and MedRegis were displayed and distributed. This industry development initiative is a gateway to job creation, higher wages and more commercial opportunities in Barbados.