MENA Pharma News: Egypt Opens ‘Pharma City’; Koçak’s COVID Vaccine Enters Phase I; Abu Dhabi Strengthens Hub Status


The latest Middle East and North Africa (MENA) pharma, including Egypt’s opening of the largest “pharmaceutical city” in the Middle East and Abu Dhabi’s quest to become a pharma hub with the goal of distributing billions of vaccines.


Turkish Koçak Farma’s COVID-19 vaccine has begun Phase I clinical trials

Koçak Farma, one of Turkey’s largest pharma companies, began Phase I clinical trials of its COVID-19 vaccine on April 8. Trials for the SARS-COV-2 mRNA vaccine are being held across several Turkish universities and labs, including the Middle East Technical University and Acibadem Labmed Health Services.


Bausch Health to sell stake in Egypt’s Amoun Pharma for $740 million

Canadian drugmaker Bausch Health Companies Inc said on Wednesday it would sell all its stake in Egypt’s Amoun Pharmaceutical Co SAE to Abu Dhabi-based ADQ for about $740 million, as the company looks to reduce its debt.

Bausch has been shedding non-core assets to pay down debt and last year announced plans to spin off its eye care unit Bausch + Lomb into a separate company.


Egypt opens Mideast’s biggest pharma city

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi inaugurated Egypt’s Gypto Pharma City, the largest pharmaceutical city in the Middle East.

Gypto Pharma, also known as Medicine City, has been set up to produce safe and effective medicines at reasonable prices, and will manufacture coronavirus remedies and drugs for chronic diseases. Production of some vitamins will also be given priority.


40 pharmaceutical firms in Saudi Arabia manufacture 36 percent of the market’s needs

The number of registered pharmaceutical companies that manufacture in the Kingdom exceeds 40, covering 36 percent of the Saudi market needs for medicines. The sector is witnessing an estimated annual growth rate of 5 percent, with exports volume surpassing US $400 million, according to the chairman of the Board of Directors of Saudi Pharmaceutical Industries & Medical Appliances Corporation (SPIMACO), Muhammad Al-Nahhas.


Egypt produces 85 percent of its pharmaceutical needs: FEDCOC

Egypt produces about 85 percent of its pharmaceutical needs locally, and imports only 15 percent from abroad, according to Ali Auf, Head of the General Division of Drug Traders at the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce (FEDCOC). Auf added that manufacturing what Egypt imports locally requires extensive technology and has special specifications, which are not currently available in the country.


UAE’s Julphar eyes return to profitability in 2021 after sales rebound

Gulf Pharmaceutical Industries, also known as Julphar, has said it expects to return to profitability later this year after a near-doubling in sales during 2020 as the company rebounded from a temporary suspension in some GCC markets.


Abu Dhabi looks to become pharma hub after Sinopharm COVID-19 shot deal

Abu Dhabi is looking to transform itself into a pharmaceutical hub, with a goal to help distribute billions of vaccine doses.

“Our target for the future is to make Abu Dhabi a pharmaceutical center” and a “hub for life sciences,” Abu Dhabi Ports Chairman Falah Mohammed Al Ahbabi said at a virtual event on Monday. “We are building our airport, our capacity, our infrastructure and all our processes to achieve that target.”

The comments come after the United Arab Emirates, of which Abu Dhabi is the capital, become the first nation in the U.S-allied Gulf to set up a coronavirus vaccine production facility, boosting its efforts to become a supply hub to the Middle East and beyond.


IHH’s Turkish unit expands Europe footprint with 70 percent stake buy in Serbian healthcare operator

IHH Healthcare Bhd’s Turkey-based Acibadem Healthcare Group is acquiring a 70% stake in Bel Medic Group, a leading private healthcare operator in Serbia. Acibadem’s founder and chairman Mehmet Ali Aydınlar said the group is pleased to have its sixth European hospital in Belgrade, according to the statement.

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