Dubai's LIFEPharma signs historic agreement with Apotex Inc., the largest producer of generic drugs in Canada

The project will see LIFEPharma manufacture 120 million tablets of medicine per year for 10 years

VPS Healthcare Chairman Managing Director Dr Shamsheer Vayalil and Apotex President CEO Jeff Watson signing the agreement in Canada

VPS Healthcare Chairman & Managing Director Dr Shamsheer Vayalil and Apotex President & CEO Jeff Watson signing the agreement in Canada

Abu Dhabi: LIFEPharma, a fully integrated pharmaceutical manufacturer, and a wholly-owned subsidiary of the UAE-headquartered VPS Healthcare, announced a historic agreement with Apotex Inc., the largest producer of generic drugs in Canada.

In a first of its kind agreement, LIFEPharma will manufacture nine products in its state-of-the-art facility in Dubai – which will then be exported for commercialization in Canada – becoming the first UAE company to export generics to the North American market.

Under the 10-year contract LIFEPharma will be producing as many as 120 million tablets per year. The products include medications used to treat a certain type of nerve disease, commonly called Lou Gehrig's disease. Other products include medications used to treat symptoms of Parkinson's disease, an antiviral drug used in the treatment of hepatitis B virus infection, a medicine used to treat partial seizures and a synthetic antibiotic used for the treatment of infections caused by multi-resistant bacteria.

None of these therapeutics have ever been manufactured in the UAE or the GCC for export  – or at these volumes – to the North American markets, demonstrating LIFEPharma’s ability to deliver complex products that meet the standards of quality in one of the most rigorous regulatory pharmaceutical markets in the world.

“The partnership is an important milestone not only for LIFEPharma and VPS Healthcare, but also for the UAE,” said Dr. Shamsheer Vayalil, Chairman and managing Director of VPS Healthcare. “This project represents an important milestone in the strategy to make the UAE a global hub for knowledge-based, sustainable and innovative industries, “ he added.

The pharmaceutical manufacturing industry is an innovation-led, value-based growth engine for the UAE’s economy. It combines the prowess of advanced technologies with the expertise of highly-skilled professionals, allowing the UAE to successfully compete in the global marketplace and move beyond its current trade and logistics standing.

“The GCC region continues to be a significant growth opportunity and focus for Apotex. The partnership with LIFEPharma represents an important step in achieving our growth objectives,” said Jeff Watson, President & CEO, Apotex.

Apotex and LifePharma are also considering manufacturing additional products for export to the Middle East that will leverage LIFEPharma’s access in the UAE and GCC markets to introduce new and niche products.

The UAE’s only USFDA-certified facility, LIFEPharma also holds the honor of being the first UAE pharmaceutical production company approved to supply medications to USA, UK, Australia, Portugal and Taiwan – six countries with some of the toughest regulatory requirements.

LIFEPharma started operations in Dubai’s Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza) in 2014. The manufacturing facility has a capacity of 1 billion tablets, 300 million capsules and 30 million liquids.


About VPS Healthcare

UAE-based VPS Healthcare, with 23 hospitals and over 125 medical centers in four countries.  VPS Healthcare's pharmaceutical production facility LIFEPharma, located in Dubai, has been certified by United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA). Keita is VPS Healthcare’s food and catering arm, with commercial kitchens in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Ludwig Royal Services is VPS' Germany-based medical concierge company for international patients. This year, the 80-bed Burjeel Hospital in Sharjah started operations. Burjeel Medical City, the 1.2 million sq/ft tertiary hospital with 338 inpatient and 70 Ambulatory beds is VPS Healthcare's newest and state-of-the-art facility. Located in Mohammad Bin Zayed City, the hospital is designed to be a hub for tertiary and quaternary oncology treatment (including immunotherapy and molecularly targeted therapies) is scheduled to be launched. VPS Healthcare is also looking at new markets and expanding into data-driven preventive healthcare.

About Apotex

Founded in 1974 by Dr. Barry Sherman, Apotex is a global pharmaceutical company that produces high-quality, affordable medicines (both generic and innovative pharmaceuticals) for patients around the world. Apotex operates in more than 45 countries, with a significant presence in the US, Mexico India and Canada. Apotex manufactures and distributes generic medications for a range of diseases and medical conditions that include, high cholesterol, infections. Globally, Apotex has manufacturing capacity of ~24 billion doses per year, which, in turn are used to fill approximately 90 million prescriptions in Canada alone, or one in five prescriptions. Apotex employs 8,000+ employees worldwide in research, development, manufacturing, information technology and distribution facilities.

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