Abu Dhabi-based holding company ADQ said it is exploring opportunities and investments that will position the UAE to become a leading regional pharmaceutical manufacturing hub. 

The company launched on Wednesday a paper titled "Redefining Regional Pharma" that sets out the strategy and identifies "six cornerstones of success to enable the UAE to capture pharma growth opportunities in the region." 

The proposals are to increase collaboration between the public and private sectors and academia, set up a robust life sciences R&D ecosystem, develop UAE-based biotech and life sciences parks, increase the country's manufacturing capabilities, forge bilateral relationships to leverage to foster investment in clinical research and grow a highly skilled talent pool. 

The ADQ whitepaper said the size of the local pharmamaceutical market is expected to reach $4.7 billion in value by 2025, up from $3.7 billion in 2021. Currently, eleven pharma multinationals like Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca, Novartis, Roche, Pfizer, GSK and Sanofi operate in the UAE. 

The plans build on ADQ’s intent to develop an integrated pharma platform including drug development, in-licensing, manufacturing and commercial capabilities.

ADQ, formerly known as Abu Dhabi Development Holding Co, manages $110 billion in assets and has investments in a broad portfolio of businesses. Recently, it has ramped up investments in healthcare and life sciences. 

The company announced last month its plans to become the largest healthcare provider in the UAE by consolidating several companies within Pure Health, its subsidiary. 

Companies set to become part of Pure Health include Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA), the National Health Insurance Company, Tamouh Healthcare, Yas Clinic Group, and Abu Dhabi Stem Cell Center. 

“We are deploying capital to build a pharma hub that further strengthens the UAE’s regional leadership in the industry. As we invest in expanding capabilities, deepening the talent pool and increasing manufacturing drugs locally, we are helping to redefine the regional pharma landscape,” said Fahad Al Qassim, executive director for healthcare and life sciences at ADQ. 

It recently opened an office in Cairo as part of the $20 billion strategic investment platform launched in 2019 between ADQ and The Sovereign Fund of Egypt (TSFE). 

Earlier in the year, it acquired Amoun Pharmaceutical Company, which operates one of the largest drug plants in Egypt from Canada's Bausch Health for $470 million. 

It has also invested in Swiss pharma company Acino, and UAE-based Pharmax Pharmaceuticals. Additionally, ADQ purchased a minority stake in India-based Biocon Biologics Limited, which specialises in biosimilars. 

(Reporting by Brinda Darasha; editing by Cleofe Maceda)  


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