MEA Roundup: Turkey’s Pharma Debt; Saudi Market Rise; UAE Sputnik Trials


A roundup of the latest from the Middle East & Africa region, including Turkey’s debt to US pharma; deals between Saudi SPIMACO and Janssen, Abu Dhabi Mubadala and Germany’s Evotec, and Turkey’s Abdi Ibrahim and Swiss OM Pharma; and whether poorer countries in Africa can truly expect equal access to a COVID-19 vaccine.


US ambassador says Turkey ignores pharma debt at its peril (Reuters)

The US ambassador to Turkey said on Wednesday companies will consider abandoning its market if it fails to fully meet debt payments to American pharmaceutical firms.


Turkey’s Abdi Ibrahim acquires 28.5% share of Swiss OM Pharma (Daily Sabah)

Chairman of Abdi Ibrahim, Nezih Barut noted that the perception that “Turkish companies are sold to foreign firms” has changed, adding that they will jointly produce some chemicals and biotechnological drugs with OM Pharma.


Saudi Arabia to be 24 percent of MENA pharma market (Trade Arabia)

Saudi Arabia is estimated to contribute $10.7 billion or 24% towards Mena’s $44 billion pharma market by 2023, notes Informa Markets, the organisers of the leading regional pharmaceutical event, CPhI Middle East & Africa.


Janssen, SPIMACO sign MoU to set up pharma facility in Saudi (Trade Arabia)

Janssen, the pharmaceutical companies of Johnson and Johnson, one of the world’s leading healthcare companies, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Saudi Pharmaceutical Industries & Medical Appliances (SPIMACO) to establish pharmaceutical manufacturing capabilities in the kingdom, supporting localisation within the healthcare sector in alignment with Saudi Vision 2030.


Second human trials of the Russian Covid-19 vaccine abroad, in UAE, have launched – Kremlin (The Economic Times)

The trials in the UAE are the second trials of the Sputnik V vaccine abroad, following the launch of trials in Belarus. Trials are also expected to begin in Venezuela in the near future.


Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala invests $235m in Germany’s Evotec (Gulf Business)

The funds will be invested in the upscaling of biologics strategy, data-driven precision medicine processes, and multimodality drug discovery and development platforms, among others.


Will Africa’s best shot at a Covid-19 vaccine be enough? (Mail & Guardian)

In an era of “vaccine nationalism,” the world’s only plan so far to secure poor countries their share of Covid-19 vaccines is still no guarantee, experts warn.

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