SUNSTAR: aspiration to bring quintessence of Vietnamese medicinal herbs to world hinh anh 1A SUNSTAR representative receives the National Quality Award, the Global Performance Excellence Award – (GPEA) 2019-2020 (Photo courtesy of the firm)

Hanoi (VNA) - After two decades of expansion and development, SunStar has become a leading science and technology enterprise in the field of manufacturing and trading herbal products, including healthcare ones, traditional and herbal medicines.

On April 25th, the Ministry of Science and Technology held a ceremony to give the National Quality Award, the Global Performance Excellence Award – (GPEA) 2019-2020.

This is an award given by the Prime Minister to enterprises with outstanding achievements in improving the quality of products and services, competitiveness. It takes into account the operational efficiency, and integration with regional and world economies of each enterprise.

In 2020, the Prime Minister signed a decision to give the awards to 55 enterprises. Among those, 19 got the National Quality Gold Award and the rest, the National Quality Award.

SunStar Joint Stock Company (SUNSTAR) is one of the 19 enterprises that won the National Quality Gold Award. “This year is the first time SUNSTAR participated in the contest. It is an honor and pride to win the Gold Award - the highest of the contest,” said Nguyen Thi Huong Lien - Deputy General Director of the SUNSTAR.

SUNSTAR: aspiration to bring quintessence of Vietnamese medicinal herbs to world hinh anh 2Deputy General Director of SUNSTAR Nguyen Thi Huong Lien (Photo courtesy of the firm 

SUNSTAR was established in 2000 by two co-founders, Pharmacist Nguyen Huu Thang and Master of Pharmacology Nguyen Thi Huong Lien. Winning the National Quality Gold Award results from the strenuous efforts of SUNSTAR in its 20 years of growth and development.

After two decades of development, SUNSTAR has become a leading science and technology enterprise in the field of manufacturing and trading herbal products. SUNSTAR products include healthcare ones, traditional and herbal medicines.

SUNSTAR has built a modern infrastructure with the main office based in Hanoi. Its building in Hanoi houses a unique museum to display precious medicinal herbs of Vietnam. In addition to the Hanoi office, SUNSTAR has a branch in Ho Chi Minh City and three factories in Ha Nam. The three Ha Nam facilities are built on a total of nearly 3 hectares, fully equipped with production lines for medicines, cosmetics, vitamin supplements, bio-products, and medical equipment.

SUNSTAR is the first company in Vietnam to meet GMP ASEAN standards for cosmetic production. It is a pioneer investing in a system of factories meeting GMP pharmaceutical standards and achieving GMP cosmetic, ISO 14000 standard, HALAL certification and FDA certification for export to the US market.

SUNSTAR aims to develop a source of organic medicinal herbs in line with the USDA American and European standards. It has invested in a 30-hectare area to grow medicinal plants in Son La for the production of herbal medicines in a closed process. The company expects to expand the plantation to about 300 hectares in 2025. Applying a modern technological production line and taking raw materials from international standard organic medicinal farms, SUNSTAR is one of a few companies able to turn out products that meet the GMP standard.

Over the recent years, the company has been a forerunner in the export of scientific and technological products of Vietnam, well-received in demanding markets such as the US, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, and the UK.

Hundreds of research projects on new pharmaceuticals and cosmetics from Vietnamese herbal sources

Constantly investing in the expansion of production, SUNSTAR at an early date focused on its development as an enterprise associated with scientific research. It is striving to become the most significant scientific and technological enterprise in traditional medicine in Vietnam. The company has developed a strategy to attract talents, employees, and staff members to meet the need of the development and expansion of the company. SUNSTAR has about 1,200 staff members, as well as more than 80 masters and university pharmacists, over 400 pharmacists at high school and college levels, and about 200 engineers/bachelors.

The company has participated in high-tech national schemes of the Ministry of Science and Technology. With highly relevant research, SUNSTAR has successfully applied the outcomes of research projects, and launched product lines with high applicability, meeting the market's needs. In 2016, it was certified as a science and technology enterprise, marking a remarkable achievement for SUNSTAR's scientific research efforts.

Annually, the company spends 10 percent of its revenue on research and development. SUNSTAR has carried out hundreds of studies at the company by itself, holding 13 patents and valuable solutions. Among them, two inventions won a bronze medal at the International Patent Exhibition in Taiwan in 2019; one invention was awarded at the 2018 invention competition organized by the International Intellectual Property Organization in conjunction with the Ministry of Science and Technology of Vietnam.

Over the past 10 years, the company has been investing in more than 70 pre-clinical research projects on animals, 21 clinical trials at all levels at seven hospitals in Vietnam, and one at the national program on hi-tech infrastructure development research, and developing new drugs from medicinal herbs.

The research work is mainly on developing new drugs from herbal sources and Vietnamese traditional medicine principles combined with modern pharmaceutical techniques.

Aspiration to bring quintessence of Vietnamese medicinal herbs to world

In 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, with its internal strength, SUNSTAR quickly realized the challenges and opportunities. The company quickly cooperated with partners in technology transfer, conducting clinical research, producing two sets of medical equipment for diagnosis and detecting coronavirus called "One step RT-PCR COVID-19 kit THAI DUONG" and "COVID-19 RT LAMP COVID-19 kit THAI DUONG". These kits are provided to the Vietnamese government, contributing to effectively fighting the pandemic. Over 50,000 RT-PCR test kits and tens of thousands of COVID-19 anti-epidemic products worth over VND 20 billion have been promptly given to frontline units of Vietnam.

SUNSTAR's products get beyond the domestic market to demanding ones such as the US, Europe, and Australia. The revenue of SUNSTAR has had remarkable growth: the 2020 income was twice that of 2017.

Mindful of environmental protection, sustainable development for the community, supporting disadvantaged groups in remote areas, SUNSTAR initiated the "Classroom Bookcase" with entrepreneurs providing tens of thousands of copies of quality books for children in the rural, mountainous schools. It also joined physicians and doctors organizing and participating in lens replacement surgery programs, bringing light to hundreds of older people, providing free medical examination and treatment to thousands of poor people. SUNSTAR also gives technical guidance to farmers in growing and buying medicinal herbs to help increase incomes for rural and mountainous people.

On the strategic development orientation of SUNSTAR in the coming time, Deputy General Director of SUNSTAR Nguyen Thi Huong Lien said: "From the day of its establishment, SUNSTAR has identified the core of the business is to bring happiness to everyone. Ever since, the company's brand development work has always focused on continuous innovation and quality improvement to create the best products to satisfy customers' needs. With products from medicinal herbs made in Vietnam, SUNSTAR not only hopes to provide Vietnamese people with better quality products but also strives to bring the national herbal essence beyond the borders to international friends."/.