• The aim to leverage 2.5% of GDP in R&D investment by 2040 will potentially add $16 billion to the national economy.

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia – A comprehensive analysis by Arthur D. Little Middle East projects substantial double-digit growth potential for Saudi Arabia’s biotechnology and genomics sector, in line with the aspirations of Saudi Vision 2030’s targets, articulating a compelling trajectory for the Kingdom within the global biotechnology landscape. This detailed report, orchestrated by Dr. Patrick Linnenbank, Partner at ADL Middle East, and Dr. Ankita Gulati, Principal at ADL Middle East, provides a data-driven forecast into the future of the Kingdom’s role in the global biotech market.

The global biotechnology market, valued at an estimated $1.5 trillion in 2023, is expected to witness a significant growth rate, with predictions reaching up to $4 trillion by 2030. On the demand side, growth is expected to be driven by calls for better healthcare diagnostics and treatment services coupled with growing emphasis on wellness and prevention. On the supply side, aspects such as increasing government focus, rising private sector investment, and technological advancements are making an impact. Within this context, Saudi Arabia’s directed R&D investments, amounting to $3.9 billion in 2021 and aims to become a global leader in innovation and R&D, with annual investment equivalent to 2.5% of GDP by 2040 which are set to catalyze the expansion of the sector. This is expected to add $16 billion to the economy and create high value jobs in science and technology, are set to catalyze the expansion of the sector, reinforcing its commitment to a knowledge-based economy.

Dr. Patrick Linnenbank, Partner in the Healthcare and Lifesciences Practice for Middle East & South East Asia at Arthur D. Little remarked, “Our analysis indicates that strategic investments and initiatives are aligning with a growing demand for enhanced healthcare services and personalized medical treatment, which Saudi Arabia is well-positioned to fulfill.”

The Kingdom’s biotech and genomics initiatives, as evidenced by the Saudi Genome Project 2.0 and related collaborative efforts, are critical to advancing precision medicine. ADL’s study underscores the sector's readiness to leverage AI and genomics for personalized healthcare solutions. While government-led investment and vision are driving change, various entities within the R&D ecosystem are enhancing the biotechnology agenda. Prime among them are King Abdullah International Medical Research Center (KAIMRC), King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST).

Dr. Ankita Gulati states, “The confluence of genomic data and AI in healthcare is at the core of next-generation medical treatment and may revolutionize healthcare. Saudi Arabia’s current trajectory in genomics research and development is a robust indicator of its potential to lead in this domain.”

Saudi Arabia’s strategic collaborations, as evidenced by alliances with global pharmaceutical firms and the integration of research initiatives from KAIMRC, KAUST, and KACST, serve as testament to an integrative business model vital for the sector’s development.

The report also highlights the progressive establishment of a regulatory framework, with new guidelines from the Saudi Food and Drug Authority and legislative oversight from the Saudi Research Development and Innovation Authority.

Saudi Arabia is primed for leadership in the biotech landscape, clearly moving in the right direction when it comes to biotechnology, but there is still a long way to go in developing capabilities across the value chain, and it is here that the kingdom’s accelerator and incubator programs come to the fore. From KAIMRC’s Medical Biotechnology Park to KAUST’s Taqadam initiative and the Biotech Startup Program in Dammam Valley, organizations throughout the kingdom are united around the same objective: building a thriving biotech and genomics ecosystem that will ascend Saudi Arabia to the global stage.

Please find HERE the full report.

About Arthur D. Little: 

Arthur D. Little has been at the forefront of innovation since 1886. We are an acknowledged thought leader in linking strategy, innovation, and transformation in technology-intensive and converging industries. We navigate our clients through changing business ecosystems to uncover new growth opportunities. We enable our clients to build innovation capabilities and transform their organizations. Our consultants have strong practical industry experience combined with excellent knowledge of key trends and dynamics. ADL is present in the most important business centers around the world. We are proud to serve most of the Fortune 1000 companies, in addition to other leading firms and public sector organizations. Website: https://www.adlittle.com/en