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Saudi Arabia is giving its pharma industry a boost

New agreement signed to increase the local manufacturing of chemical compounds used to produce pharmaceutical products.

Saudi Arabia is giving its pharma industry a boost
[Source photo: Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

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The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic brought the significance of new therapies and vaccines worldwide.
Saudi Arabia is nurturing its pharmaceutical industry.

The kingdom’s National Industrial Development Center signed a tripartite memorandum of understanding with Jubail Pharma and RR Holding Co.

With the agreement, the entities aim to increase the local manufacturing of chemical compounds that produce pharmaceutical products.

The partnerships will also help localize the manufacturing of active pharmaceutical ingredients, intermediate materials, and chemicals for the industry and conduct studies on the investment landscape in the pharma sector.

Jubail Pharma is a leading pharmaceutical production company in Saudi, while RR Holding Co is a UAE-based diversified conglomerate with operations and investments across industries such as oil, gas, energy, and textiles.

The agreement aligns with the NIDC’s strategy to foster local manufacturing, especially in the petrochemicals and pharma components sector. The center also stated that the partnership would enhance the kingdom’s local medicine manufacturing and ensure national security in terms of pharmaceutical products.

According to NIDC’s release, the kingdom’s pharmaceutical sector encompasses around 30% of the region’s total value, considered the largest in the Middle East in terms of investment size. Saudi has 40 local pharma factories, covering 29% of Saudi Arabia’s needs with revenue exceeding $399 million.

In June, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund launched a biopharmaceutical sector-focused investment company that will produce drugs and launch ventures with local and international companies to develop the industry.

The Pharmaceutical Investment Company, or Lifera, is a contract development and manufacturing concern that will help the kingdom become more resilient and support its goal of becoming a global pharmaceutical manufacturing destination.

Lifera will focus on manufacturing life-saving and essential pharmaceutical products, including insulins, vaccines, plasma therapeutics, monoclonal antibodies, cell and gene therapies, and innovative small molecules.

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