RIYADH — Saudi Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources, Chairman of the Manufacturing Vaccines and Vital Medicines Committee Bandar Alkhorayef announced the launch of several investment opportunities in the vaccines and vital medicines industry, valued at $3.4 billion.

The opportunities will achieve the Kingdom’s goals aimed at achieving pharmaceutical and health security, and making Saudi Arabia an important center for this promising industry.

The minister stressed that the targeted pharmaceutical sectors in general, whose value exceeds $5 billion, will be implemented in several stages, starting with vaccines and vital medicines, as the first phase will focus on localizing vaccines, plasma, and insulin technologies, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

He stressed the importance of transferring their full technologies to contribute mainly to building the Kingdom's capabilities in these sectors and achieving health and pharmaceutical security while reducing the high cost on the state budget.

Currently the state imports 100% of vaccines and vital pharmaceutical products, while the vital medicines sector enjoys the fastest growth rate in the market among all pharmaceutical sectors with an annual rate of 17%.

Alkhorayef said that the Manufacturing Vaccines and Vital Medicines Committee will focus in the first phase on localizing basic children's vaccines and building the necessary self-capacities and manufacturing platforms to combat future pandemics.

This will be followed by insulin production to treat diabetes patients and then support plasma collection centers with a world-class factory to achieve self-sufficiency in plasma derivatives.

The second phase will focus on localizing immunological and cancer treatments technologies, where the size of this vital sector is estimated at more than $2 billion annually, of which insulin represents approximately $340 million.

The minister explained that the Manufacturing Vaccines and Vital Medicines Committee aims to achieve positive results by identifying the best technologies in the field of vaccines and vital medicines, in which the Kingdom must invest to transfer and localize knowledge.

This is in addition to building local industrial platforms with international specifications to enable the Kingdom to occupy its natural place as an industrial power and a logistical platform for vaccines and vital medicines in the Middle East and the Muslim countries.

The committee, which was formed by a Cabinet decision in March 2022, chaired by the minister of industry and mineral resources, is working on organizing and developing vital medicines, setting a strategy for regulating the vaccines and vital medicines industry, related programs, and plans, supervising their implementation, setting rules and standards for building factories for vaccines and vital medicines and taking all necessary procedures concerning the construction of those factories.

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