SPIMACO, AstraZeneca sign MOU to improve access to medicines in Saudi Arabia

Deal for development

Leon Wang, EVP international & country president China – AstraZeneca, right, shakes hand with Fahad Al Khalaf, CEO – SPIMACO, after agreeing to invest, develop and technology transfer initiative in Saudi Arabia. — Courtesy photo

ASTRAZENECA and Saudi Pharmaceutical Industries & Medical Appliances Corporation (SPIMACO) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) during Thursday’s official visit of the Saudi Crown Prince Muhammed Bin Salman to the UK. This agreement confirms the intention to conclude an Investment, Development and Technology Transfer initiative including the launch of a Contract Manufacturing Operation arrangement (CMO) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).

The MOU was signed by Leon Wang, executive vice president international & country president China — AstraZeneca, and Fahad Al Khalaf, CEO SPIMACO, in the presence of the Saudi ministerial delegation.

The CMO arrangement once concluded will allow AstraZeneca to work closely with SPIMACO to deliver local manufacturing of AstraZeneca pharmaceutical products, leveraging added value through SPIMACO’s manufacturing expertise to patients in the Kingdom. The total value of the combined investment is around $80m; in terms of impact this will enable the partners to reach 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 be a significant generator of local high-skilled employment.

Leon Wang, EVP international & country president China – AstraZeneca, said: “I’m delighted to sign this strategic MOU, which is an important milestone in our journey as Healthcare Partners of choice in Saudi Arabia, helping to achieve the Vision 2030 ambition to become ‘the investment powerhouse and the Hub connecting 3 continents’. 2018 is the year to accelerate the delivery of our innovative science to patients, and this collaboration has the potential to really transform the lives of patients, in one of our key International markets.”

Fahad Al Khalaf, CEO – SPIMACO, said: “SPIMACO is committed to deliver high quality pharmaceutical products of international standards. This strategic alliance with AstraZeneca is fully supportive of our responsibility towards patients in Saudi Arabia and our commitment to healthcare development in The Kingdom”.

Ismail Shehada, country president Saudi Arabia - AstraZeneca: “This CMO provides wider access of AstraZeneca’s innovative medicines to patients who need them, and is in strong alignment with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030. At AstraZeneca, we are committed to continue the strong strategic partnership with Saudi Arabia, a partnership that is based on cooperation and mutual responsibility to improve patients’ access to innovative technologies. Today’s MOU signature reinforces AstraZeneca’s commitment in terms of localisation of manufacturing, innovative technology transfer, Saudi talent development, job creation and enhancing economic competitiveness.”

AstraZeneca is a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization 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.

Saudi Arabia is one of the key markets for AstraZeneca in the Middle East & Africa Area. AstraZeneca established its presence in Saudi Arabia in the 1980s 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.

Saudi Pharmaceutical Industries & Medical Appliances Corporation (SPIMACO) is a Saudi Joint–Stock company with a fully paid-up capital of SR1,200,000,000. 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. — SG