Abu Dhabi Planning to Set Up Biotech Pharmaceutical Plant

Haseeb Haider
Filed on November 20, 2009

ABU DHABI A biotech pharmaceutical plant is being setup in Abu Dhabi with an investment of $150 million to market products for the Middle East and North Africa region.

A new company called the Emirates Biotech Pharmaceutical Factory LLC has been come up in the capital, which will set up new facilities to produce pharmaceuticals and raw materials based on biotechnology process.

The products to be produced include crystal insulin for diabetes, anti-cancers, vaccines, haemophilia A and growth factors.

An Egyptian company, Hebi Holding, will have 40 per cent shareholding in the joint venture, while a group of Emirati investors will own the 60 per cent majority shareholding.

On Thursday, GL Rapha Corp and Hankook Korus Pharm based in Soul, signed a contract with the new company for participating in the share capital. Koreans will also construct the new manufacturing facilities and will market the pharmaceuticals in UAE and the Middle East. Speaking at the signing ceremony, Shaikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, said that the mega project is the first of its kind in the region. “This technology is usually held by the multinational pharmaceutical companies, but we are now able to own it for generations to come. We will also create the ability to educate the new generation in Biotechnology,” he said.

The managing director of Hebi Holding, Refaat El Sayeed, told Khaleej Times said that the construction of the plant would commence within six months, while commercial production will begin in two years time.

Eighty per cent of the products will be exported to the Middle Eastern countries, while the remaining will be marketed in the UAE and other Arabian Gulf nations.

The company intends to tie up with the local petrochemical industries to use their products and also provide them with the opportunity to develop new products that are not currently being produced, El Sayeed said.

“It is the ‘mission’ of the company to supply the products to the domestic market at very competitive prices,” Al Sayeed said. In the first phase, the pharmaceutical plant will employ 200 workers and the company will strive to hire UAE nationals from local universities and technical institutes.

In order to create a local workforce, the Emirate Biotech Pharmaceutical Factory will support the Higher Collages of Technology, or HCT, and the University of Al Ain to offer courses in Biotechnology and setup training centres.

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