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Saudi Arabia to Invest $3.4 Bln in Vaccine, Biomedical Drugs Sector

Saudi Arabia to Invest $3.4 Bln in Vaccine, Biomedical Drugs Sector

Friday, 24 June, 2022 - 17:15
A general view of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (SPA)

Saudi Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources, Chairman of the Manufacturing Vaccines and Vital Medicines Committee, Bandar bin Ibrahim Alkhorayef announced on Friday the launch of several investment opportunities in the vaccines and vital medicines industry, valued at $3.4 billion.


The move seeks to accomplish the Kingdom’s goals at achieving pharmaceutical and health security, and transforming Saudi Arabia into an important hub for this promising industry.


The first phase, valued at over $5 billion, will target vaccines and vital medicines. It will focus on localizing vaccines, plasma, and insulin technologies, with the goal of transferring their full technologies to building the Kingdom's capabilities in these domains.


This will help achieve health and pharmaceutical security, while reducing the high cost on the state budget, which currently imports all vaccines and vital pharmaceutical products.


Alkhorayef said the Manufacturing Vaccines and Vital Medicines Committee will focus in the first phase on localizing basic children's vaccines and building the necessary self-capacities and manufacturing platforms to combat future pandemics.


This will be followed by insulin production to treat diabetes patients and later, support for plasma collection centers through the establishment of a world-class factory to achieve self-sufficiency in plasma derivatives.


The second phase will focus on localizing immunological and cancer treatments technologies. This sector is worth more than $2 billion annually. Insulin alone accounts for around $340 million.


Alkhorayef explained that the Manufacturing Vaccines and Vital Medicines Committee will identify the best technologies in vaccines and vital medicines as targets for Saudi investments to transfer and localize knowledge.


It will build local industrial platforms with international specifications to allow the Kingdom to occupy its natural place as an industrial power and a logistical platform for vaccines and vital medicines in the Middle East and the Islamic countries.


The committee, which was formed by a Cabinet decision in March 2022 and chaired by the Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources, is working on organizing and developing vital medicines, and setting a strategy for regulating the vaccines and vital medicines industry, related programs, and plans.


It is also supervising the implementation of the plans and programs, setting rules and standards for building factories for vaccines and vital medicines and taking all necessary procedures concerning the construction of those facilities.


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