LIFEPharma to be first UAE firm to export generic drugs to North America
Jeff Watson and Dr Shamsheer Vayalil at the signing ceremony.
Abu Dhabi - 10-year contract with Apotex will see production of as many as 120M tablets annually
LIFEPharma, a wholly-owned subsidiary of UAE-headquartered VPS Healthcare, announced a historic agreement with Apotex, the largest producer of generic drugs in Canada.
The first-of-its kind agreement will see LIFEPharma manufacture nine products in its Dubai facility, which will then be exported for commercialisation in Canada - making it the first UAE company to export generics to the North American market.
Under the 10-year contract, LIFEPharma will be producing as many as 120 million tablets per year. The products include medications used to treat a certain type of nerve disease, commonly called Lou Gehrig's disease. Other products include medications used to treat symptoms of Parkinson's, an antiviral drug used in the treatment of hepatitis B virus infection, a medicine used to treat partial seizures and a synthetic antibiotic used for the treatment of infections caused by multi-resistant bacteria.
None of these therapeutics have ever been manufactured in the UAE or the GCC for export - or at these volumes - to North American markets.
"The partnership is an important milestone not only for LIFEPharma and VPS Healthcare, but also for the UAE," said Dr Shamsheer Vayalil, chairman and managing director of VPS Healthcare. "This project represents an important milestone in the strategy to make the UAE a global hub for knowledge-based, sustainable and innovative industries."
The pharmaceutical manufacturing industry is an innovation-led, value-based growth engine for the UAE's economy. It combines the prowess of advanced technologies with the expertise of highly-skilled professionals, allowing the UAE to successfully compete in the global marketplace and move beyond its current trade and logistics standing.
"The GCC region continues to be a significant growth opportunity and focus for Apotex. The partnership with LIFEPharma represents an important step in achieving our growth objectives," said Jeff Watson, president and CEO of Apotex.
Apotex and LifePharma are also considering manufacturing additional products for export to the Middle East that will leverage LIFEPharma's access in the UAE and GCC markets to introduce new and niche products.
LIFEPharma is the UAE's only USFDA-certified facility.