From left to right: Senior Investment Executive Michael Vassalo, Jonathan and Richard.

From left to right: Senior Investment Executive Michael Vassalo, Jonathan and Richard.

A Sunderland-based specialist pharmaceutical company is expanding with the backing of a £350,000 mezzanine debt investment from the North East Growth Plus Fund managed by FW Capital and a £75,000 Let’s Grow grant.

Rokshaw, which was founded in 2012 by two brothers, Richard and Jonathan Hodgson, supplies specially formulated (specials) drugs as well as unlicensed drugs to doctors, hospital trusts, pharmacies and pharmaceutical wholesalers throughout the United Kingdom.

The company has built up an impressive customer base in the UK since 2012 and is now 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.

With the backing of the funding package, Rokshaw will increase control of its manufacturing, setting up its own 6,000 Sq.ft. laboratory and production facility and the funding will help with the costs of the additional Home Office and Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency licences it will need before it can start manufacturing.

It will also enable the company to recruit at least 9 additional qualified staff, including a production manager, pharmacists, a quality control manager and technicians.  Future sales success is likely to see Rokshaw take on additional staff.

“Advances in medical science coupled with more personalised medical care are increasing the demand for specially formulated drugs or specials and there are no signs of demand slowing down.  Today drugs can be formulated to cope with patients’ allergies and other individual needs as well as for non-standard doses.

“We’ve established a strong presence in the UK market, which is our principal market. This funding package will enable us to increase our control over our manufacturing and scale up our business.  We’ll then be able to focus on improving our service and product quality and also increasing our market share by securing more business from hospital trusts and independent pharmacies,” explained Jonathan Hodgson, Business Development Director.

Rokshaw operates in a competitive market where its customer services and ethical pricing policy are key differentiators.  The company’s investment in manufacturing will also improve its cost base.

Commenting on FW Capital’s investment, Senior Investment Executive, Michael Vassallo said: “Jonathan and Richard have combined their sales and business management skills with their considerable experience in the pharmaceutical sector to start up a sustainable business with long-term potential.  They’ve impressed their many loyal customers by paying attention to key aspects of their business, such as customer service and reliability as well as product quality and patient safety.

“Rokshaw has a strong market position and is at a crucial point in its development.

FW Capital’s funding together with the Let’s Grow grant has provided the funding boost they now need to accelerate the company’s growth and extend its national footprint.”