$30m Bahrain Pharma adds to regional strength in pharmaceuticals production

Pharmaceutical industry across the GCC is worth approximately $20 billion and growing

  
$30m Bahrain Pharma adds to regional strength in pharmaceuticals production
  • Bahrain Pharma a new, strategic addition to regional healthcare mix
  • GCC currently heavily reliant on pharmaceutical imports

Manama: Bahrain Pharma, the $30m speciality healthcare manufacturer founded as a key pillar of Bahrain’s pharmaceuticals and healthcare strategy, has secured approval on the 25th of June 2020, to begin trial production.

Commercial production is expected to begin in September of this year. The pharmaceutical company has been licensed by Bahrain’s National Health Regulatory Authority (NHRA) to produce gel capsule and soluble syrups, but has the capacity to rapidly move to a much wider variety of product types. As it moves into the production phase, Bahrain Pharma will create Bahrain’s first high-value, high-skilled pharmaceutical manufacturing jobs.

Current estimates suggest that the pharmaceutical industry across the GCC is worth approximately $20 billion making it a growing contributor to regional GDP. However, 80 per cent of pharmaceutical products are imported from outside the region, and it is clear that balancing this ratio could spell a significant opportunity for local markets.

Mr. Osama Al Arayedh, Undersecretary for Industrial Affairs at the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, and Tourism, said: “With more than 80 per cent of pharmaceutical products imported from outside the region, the GCC offers a compelling case for the setup of regional distribution hubs and in-market production facilities. Bahrain offers healthcare manufacturers an excellent base, bringing together international talent, world-class health institutions and cutting-edge infrastructure to catalyse the GCC fast-growing healthcare sector that is set to be worth $85 billion by 2021. Trial productions by firms like Bahrain Pharma are an essential part of the ecosystem, benefitting not only patients but also the Kingdom’s high-skilled medical professionals who will gain new opportunities to work at the forefront of the pharmaceutical industry.”

Regarding the investment, Bahrain Pharma Managing Director Dr Waqar Ahmad said: “This is a big moment for Bahrain, but it’s also an indication that the Gulf is on a clear path towards localising pharmaceutical manufacturing. Pharmaceuticals offers significant opportunities in the region, and the highly skilled workforce available in Bahrain means that this is not only an opportunity for business leaders, but also for aspiring scientists and pharmacists as well.

“We expect to produce commercial batches in September of this year. We have started with two production lines with a total annual production capacity of 600 million softgel capsules and 20 million syrup bottles with the potential to expand production capacity to three additional production lines of softgel capsules. We intend to cater to the MENA region but we have full potential to extend our exports to Far East Asia and other regions.

“I would like to thank all governmental entities that supported and helped us make this project happen including Bahrain Economic Development Board, Ministry of Industry, Commerce, and Tourism, Bahrain International Investment Park, the National Healthcare Regulatory Authority, the Information & eGovernment Authority, and many other key governmental entities. Bahrain’s world class infrastructure, great connectivity, and unique investment advantages offer a great opportunity for sustainable business operations.”

Husain Rajab, Co-Chief Investment Officer at Bahrain EDB, stated: “With a growing regional population that exceeds 400 million and a clear supply gap in many areas, pharmaceutical manufacturers can take advantage of Bahrain’s strategic location at the heart of the gulf region. Bahrain is well positioned to become a major pharmaceutical hub especially with the advanced pharma rules and regulations developed by the National Healthcare Regulatory Authority. At the heart of this success is yet another great example of our Team Bahrain philosophy in action, where the unified efforts of the government, in dialogue with business, contributes towards the growth and development of our economy.”

-Ends-

For more information, please contact:
Communications and Media Department
Economic Development Board
E-mail: internationalmedia@bahrainedb.com  

About Bahrain Economic Development Board

The Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) is an investment promotion agency with overall responsibility for attracting investment into the Kingdom and supporting initiatives that enhance the investment climate.

The EDB works with the government and both current and prospective investors, in order to ensure that Bahrain’s investment climate is attractive, to communicate the key strengths, and to identify where opportunities exist for further economic growth through investment.

The EDB focuses on several economic sectors that capitalise on Bahrain’s competitive advantages and provide significant investment opportunities. These sectors include financial services, manufacturing, ICT, tourism, logistics and transport.

For more information on the Bahrain EDB visit www.bahrainedb.com ; for information about Bahrain visit www.bahrain.com .

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