The memorandum of understanding includes the localization of manufacturing at EVA Pharma’s specialized and internationally accredited facility for the manufacture of immunosuppressants in the 10th of Ramadan City, Egypt, in addition to the possibility of exporting to several emerging markets in Africa.
In addition to Roche Egypt General Manager Mohamed Swilam and EVA Pharma CEO Riad Armanious, the signing, which took place during the second edition of the ‘Africa Health Excon’ exhibition was also witnessed by Prof. Dr Awad Taj El-Din, Advisor to the President of the Republic for Health and Prevention Affairs and former Minister of Health, Major General Dr His Excellency Minister Bahaa El-Din Zaidan, Head of the Unified Procurement Authority, Logistics and Supply and Medical Technology Department, Dr Tamer Essam, President of The Egyptian Medicines Authority, Dr Adel Adawy, President of the Egyptian Medical Association and former Minister of Health and Population, Andrea Moller, Financial Director for the Middle East at Roche, and Elisabeth Gilege, Deputy Chief of Mission at the Swiss Embassy.
The project aims to encourage technology transfer and develop technical knowledge of the immunosuppressive drugs that help improve the lives of patients undergoing organ transplants through a competitive model in terms of cost and flexibility, which enhances local drug production in line with the priorities of the Egyptian government. The pharmaceutical industry is a fundamental pillar of the Egyptian government’s economic reform plan in terms of the value of its contribution to the gross domestic product and job creation, and has been identified as a key part of the country’s sustainable development strategy and ‘Vision 2030’.
Commenting on the partnership, Swilam said “Roche takes a patient-centric approach and we are committed to improving important treatment outcomes for patients throughout the care journey. This MoU will enable us to offer an innovative drug to Egyptian patients faster and at a lower cost, and this is the main result we aim to achieve. This manufacturing localization project encourages technology transfer and local knowledge development. enabling a more sustainable healthcare system. This helps in establishing strategic national capabilities to unleash the country’s future potential in the field of healthcare.”
He added: “Although we are still at an early stage in the journey of transformation in this industry, I believe that we are now living in one of the best times for healthcare provision in Egypt in terms of positive change, appreciation of the value of innovation, and genuine interest by decision-makers to improve patients’ lives. This MoU also demonstrates Roche’s long-term commitment to Egypt, and highlights Roche’s commitment to supporting Egypt’s Vision 2030.”
Armanious noted that, “We believe in the importance of the availability of high-quality medicines, as transplant patients need special care that begins with the quality of the medicines they receive. Our collaboration with Roche will bring innovative, high-quality medicines to patients. By taking advantage of technological advances, we aim to reduce the impact of patient problems before and after transplantation, ultimately leading to improved health outcomes for patients. With our strong operational capabilities and dedicated immunosuppressant manufacturing site, the turnaround time in making these healthcare solutions available to patients in emerging markets will be reduced.”
He continued, “The pharmaceutical industry in Egypt has reached advanced stages of quality that match international standards in the industry, and the MoU that we are signing today is a testament to that. We are very proud to make this advanced technology available in Egypt, and to export it to emerging markets in Africa as well, and we are keen to collaborate with Roche and reach the primary goal of increasing patients’ access to life-saving medicines.”
Back in 2022, Swilam outlined Roche’s partnership strategy in Egypt to PharmaBoardroom thusly: “We’re proud to work closely and collaboratively with the Government of Egypt to support the evolution of the healthcare system towards a value-based healthcare system that will ensure long-term sustainability.”
“We are doing so with all relevant authorities: the Ministry of Health, Universal Health Insurance Authority, Unified Procurement Authority, Egypt Drug Authority, and the Health Insurance Organisation. We’re partnering in areas such as digital transformation, data generation, provider education, value-based evaluation, and procurement to support the development of integrated, sustainable, and patient-centric health systems that drive better outcomes for more patients, faster.
“We’re also working closely with the authorities on the development and roll-out of a Health Technology Assessment (HTA), which can be a valuable tool to ensure that the limited resources of the healthcare system are spent in an efficient way, delivering the best possible outcomes for both patients and the healthcare system.
“Also, in line with the Government of Egypt’s privatisation program, we announced our partnership with Gypto Pharma, a local pharmaceutical manufacturer, to start the technology transfer of Roche innovations here in Egypt – helping more patients gain better access to treatments that offer life-changing outcomes.
“We are also leading in conducting clinical research in Egypt. We share the same vision of the relevant authorities in Egypt that the country has great potential to conduct more trials. This is a work in progress and we are committed to advancing this program.
“Finally, data management is another area where Roche Egypt is collaborating with the relevant authorities and partners to build capabilities to collect quality data and make electronic medical records a standard practice in Egypt.
“Together with the government of Egypt, we’re building the foundation for a strong healthcare ecosystem that will help Egyptians lead better lives in this country.
Outlining his own company’s approach to partnerships last year Armanious told PharmaBoardroom that EVA Pharma was “in discussions with various potential partners, including several Big Pharmas, as we try to step up our capabilities. This is especially relevant in our efforts to make biological solutions available for patients.”
He added, “Manufacturing and access alliances will be crucial. Local players can have an important role in flexible pricing and financing negotiations, while international actors including logistics firms will be important for transporting biologics medicines via cold chain. Already, EVA Pharma has various global collaborations in place for manufacturing and increasing patient access to life-saving medicines for diabetes and other speciality medicines fulfilling the needs of patients in low- and middle-income countries.