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Dubai poised to play an increasing role in global pharmatech industry, Dubai Science Park official says

Investment in healthcare infrastructure has attracted large number of global pharmaceutical companies, with first local manufacturing start-up expected to go live by end of this year

Dubai, UAE: The Executive Director of Dubai Science Park, a part of TECOM Group, has said that Dubai is ideally positioned to be able to capitalise on global demand for pharmaceuticals, and that increasing expenditure on healthcare in the region is creating opportunities for manufacturers in the Middle East.

Speaking at the MENA Healthcare Forum in Dubai, Marwan Abdulaziz Janahi, who has overseen the growth of the emirates’ life sciences business community for much of the last decade, said sustained investment in healthcare infrastructure, a robust regulatory environment and one of the highest per-capita medicine expenditures in the world have already seen the country’s pharmaceutical industry grow to just over AED11 billion (US$ 3 billion). In the coming years, the industry is expected to reach nearly AED21 billion (US$5.7 billion) by 2020, according to the latest Globaldata report published in July 2016.

Marwan Abdulaziz Janahi, Executive Director of Dubai Science Park, said: “The regional healthcare industry has grown exponentially, and sustained investment in world-class infrastructure means we are now in a unique position to be able to attract some of the world’s leading companies and experts in the field of pharmaceutical manufacturing and pharmatech to Dubai Science Park. Many of these companies are leading the way when it comes to research and development, and is one of many reasons why our business community has grown to more than 300 companies.”

Janahi’s remarks came during a panel discussion on the relationship between the pharmaceutical manufacturing and supply chains, where talks mainly focused on how investors can maximise emerging opportunities in manufacturing and pharmatech in the region’s healthcare sector.

A report published by BMI expects these sectors to contribute to a regional life sciences industry that could be worth Dh69.3 billion by 2019, equivalent to 37 percent growth from Dh50.7 billion in 2014. As companies take advantage of innovative new trends in the industry, the region could be braced for a spate of mergers and acquisitions, which amounted to US$520 billion in 2014, according to Deloitte.

Janahi said: “At present, most of the world’s top multinational pharmaceutical companies have set up regional headquarters and manufacturing plants in the UAE, and we are priviledged to call some of them our partners. Together with Pfizer, Bayer, Amgen and Medtronic, to name a few, we have built a strong and healthy ecosystem that will see a myriad of medicinal manufacturing plants to come online by 2020 which, in turn, will enable us to actively contribute to the National Innovation Strategy launched by Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, aiming to propel the UAE among one of the most innovative nations in the world within the next five years.”

The panel discussion also focused on building supply chains and market dynamics, including imports, local production, branded and generics products; market trends, patents, and the opportunities that are emerging in cardiovascular, oncology, cancer, cellular, small molecules, biology and other fields.

Ahead of the launch of the first start-up to develop, manufacture and market branded generic pharma products in the Middle East, Dubai Science Park is set to mark the next milestone in the UAE’s ever-evolving generic medicines sector by the end of the year – demonstrating its leading role as a catalyst in the transformation of healthcare services in the emirate.

The thriving business community, together with the region’s rapidly expanding populations and rising cost of healthcare are behind forecasts that the GCC healthcare sector could grow to US$71.3 billion by 2020, according to a report published by Alpen Capital earlier this year.

Following his attendance at the International Healthcare Forum, Janahi represented Dubai’s life sciences sector at the 1st International Congress of Jordan Food & Drug Administration on Thursday, 27 October 2016. Guided by this year’s theme, he spoke on Opportunities and Future Vision in the Pharmaceutical Sector, highlighting the latest developments being driven by Dubai Science Park.

The two-day event took place at the Sheraton Amman Al Nabil Hotel in Amman, Jordan, during which Abdulaziz showcased the legacy being created around developments at Dubai Science Park. The event also represented the latest public appearance in a busy month for the Executive Director.

Earlier this month, his attendance at SIAL Paris – one of the most comprehensive and inspiring food exhibitions in the world – provided the backgrop for Dubai Science Park to connect with a selection of influencers guests at an exclusive Gala Dinner in collaboration with Cotty Vivant Marchisio & Lauzeral, a corporate law firm with offices in Paris, Tokyo, Singapore, Dubai, Yangon and Kuala Lumpur.

Held on the sidelines of SIAL, an annual event that encouraged 160,000 delegates to take a deeper look at the latest food trends and innovations from around the world, the dinner meeting providing Abdulaziz with the chance to demonstrate the growing healthcare ecosystem in Dubai, as well as the strong market fundamentals and legislative developments that have enabled growth to a select international audience. This includes the Dubai Industrial Strategy as part of Dubai Plan 2021, and the benefits of operating in one of the world’s most dynamic business communities dedicated to science.

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