AstraZeneca and KSA's SPIMACO initiate local CMO arrangement

Technology transfer of five medical products

AstraZeneca and KSA's SPIMACO initiate local CMO arrangement

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Al Riyadh: AstraZeneca and Saudi Pharmaceutical Industries & Medical Appliances Corporation (SPIMACO) officially initiated the launch of the Contract Manufacturing Operation arrangement (“CMO”) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).  Representatives from both companies today signed the agreement to conclude an Investment, Development and Technology Transfer initiative.

The signing ceremony took place in Gothenburg, Sweden, in the presence of His Excellency, Dr. Tawfiq Al Rabiah, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Health, following the memorandum of understanding that was signed between AstraZeneca and SPIMACO earlier in March during the official visit of the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the United Kingdom.

SPIMACO’s Chief Executive Officer, Fahad Al Khalaf said, “Our agreement with AstraZeneca will focus on technology transfer of five medical products (11 SKUs) that are valued at around 300 million Saudi Riyals per annum, where three  of these products will require a special and separate unit for manufacturing purposes.”

“This strategic alliance is of paramount importance, and one which reflects the company’s keen interest to provide the latest treatment and therapies for patients and care providers in the Kingdom that are aligned to the highest global standards, reflecting the company’s leading position as one of the largest drug production companies. SPIMACO aims to secure supply through local manufacturing.” added Al Khalaf.

The $80 million USD deal aims to extend access to around 3 million patients across Saudi Arabia, with locally produced innovative medicines that are highly relevant to local medical needs in the cardiovascular, diabetes and gastrointestinal areas. Alongside the innovation being localised, this CMO will play a key role in developing highly skilled local Saudi talent.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), non-communicable diseases (NCDs) account for 71% of all deaths in Saudi Arabia, with cardiovascular disease being the leading cause of mortality.[1]

As part of the vision 2030, Saudi Arabia’s National Transformation Program (NTP) focuses on key elements across the healthcare industry that include increased use of technology, healthcare education, enhanced professional development as well as local manufacturing of pharmaceuticals.

Ismail Shehada, Country President Saudi Arabia – AstraZeneca also noted, “Saudi Arabia is at the heart of our regional operations in the region and AstraZeneca is committed to expand its activities in the Kingdom to meet local healthcare demands. With the current infrastructure changes to the local economy, the potential for the Saudi market is gaining more momentum to create more synergies locally and around the region, as we continue to support Vision 2030’s health agenda.”

“Our collaboration with SPIMACO is a core component of our strategic approach which focuses on further developing the pharmaceutical sector in the Kingdom with the objective of supporting a comprehensive healthcare delivery amongst consumers, patients and the local medical community,” noted Shehada.

About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of diseases in three therapy areas - Oncology, Cardiovascular & Metabolic Diseases and Respiratory. The Company also is selectively active in the areas of autoimmunity, neuroscience and infection. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide.

For more information, please visit and follow us on Twitter @AstraZeneca.

About AstraZeneca in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is one of the key markets for AstraZeneca in the Middle East & Africa Area. AstraZeneca established its presence in The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the 1980’s and since then has worked with the authorities to advance healthcare in The Kingdom and deliver science to patients.  The company employs over 200 people based in three offices; the Scientific office in Riyadh, and two offices in Jeddah and Al-Khobar. AstraZeneca has very strong connections with the local medical and scientific community and brings a lot of effort for diagnostics’ development in the country. The company is committed to carrying out 15 Clinical Research programmes in 2017-2020 in Saudi Arabia.


Saudi Pharmaceutical Industries & Medical Appliances Corporation (SPIMACO) is a Saudi Joint–Stock company with a fully paid-up capital of SR 1,200,000,000. It was established in 1986. SPIMACO Addwaeih’s core business is medical and pharmaceutical, which includes development, manufacturing and sales of pharmaceutical products and medical appliances. Moreover, SPIMACO also has ownership in number of joint stock and limited liabilities companies inside and outside the Kingdom. SPIMACO has developed a strong position in Saudi Arabia and is well positioned to sustain its growth and have a sound platform to serve export markets. SPIMACO main manufacturing facility – Al–Qassim Pharmaceutical Plant was planned, constructed and equipped up to the highest quality levels. SPIMACO earned a lot of national quality awards and attained major international certifications.  SPIMACO serves successfully several markets locally and internationally and have built superior relations with regulatory bodies and the medical professions at large. The heavy investments in regulatory, marketing, sales and international alliances gave SPIMACO the market capabilities to prosper and overtake a lot of competitors.
An important and distinctive advantage of SPIMACO strategy is its relations with multinational companies. A very flexible, objective and versatile approach let to a multitude of relationships that served the interests of all parties. SPIMACO is a successful joint stock company and it has one of the most actively traded shares in the Saudi stock market.

For more information, please contact:
Ghaleb Al Ahdab
Communications Lead
AstraZeneca Middle East
T: +971 50 811 2336

Emeel Bishay
Corporate and Healthcare Practice Lead
FleishmanHillard UAE
T: +971 4450 2600
M: +971 55 886 2717

[1] Investment in Saudi Arabia's health sector continues to rise as the government addresses long-term challenges | Oxford Business Group |

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