Saudi leadership’s US trip lays foundation for localization of vaccine and biological industries in the Kingdom

Saudi leadership’s US trip lays foundation for localization of vaccine and biological industries in the Kingdom
Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih
Updated 26 March 2018

Saudi leadership’s US trip lays foundation for localization of vaccine and biological industries in the Kingdom

Saudi leadership’s US trip lays foundation for localization of vaccine and biological industries in the Kingdom

BOSTON: Energy Minister and Chief of the Board of Directors at King Abdul-Aziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) Khalid Al-Falih participated in the Innovation to Impact Forum as part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit to the US.
The Research Products Development Company (RPDC) signed an agreement with SaudiVax to establish and operate the first research and industrial center in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East to develop vaccines and biomedical medical products.
It is to be established at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) Innovation Center with the support of KACST, which will provide research, development and manufacturing tools to build the first line of defense against epidemic risks in the Kingdom.
The Center will also include a training platform for qualifying national competencies in the industrial field.
A cooperation agreement was signed with GE to supply equipment to the Center, and Fujifilm Dayosent Biotechnology for the development of a treatment for middle respiratory syndrome (Corona).
Al-Falih expressed his satisfaction at taking the first step to localize this important industry in the Kingdom, hoping that it would be a starting point for industrial investment in research, development and medical innovation.
Prince Turki bin Saud bin Mohammed, President of KACST, stressed the importance of this national project for the Kingdom, and his keenness to make this Center a national platform for research, development and pharmaceutical innovation with international standards. He said he hoped it would transform a large part of the outputs of national pharmaceutical research into economically feasible industrial outputs.
The chairman of National Industrial Cluster Program (NICP), Hamoud Al-Tuwaijri, pointed out that this agreement would hopefully establish a scientific framework to enable the Kingdom to find internal solutions to its national health needs, as well as regional and Islamic needs, including solutions for Corona and other problems.
Nadhmi Al-Nasr, the president of KAUST, explained that this is among several ambitious technological projects aimed at accelerating the localization of Saudi technology and creating technical jobs in the fields of biomedical medicines and advanced industrial applications within the framework of Vision 2030. He said the vaccine and advanced treatments industry is strategically important for the Kingdom, given the reception of millions of pilgrims from around the world annually.
The size of the vaccine market in the Kingdom is about $400 million annually, while biological medicines represent $1 billion, with an approximate annual growth rate of 15 percent. The size of the global vaccine market is about $30 billion, and the global biological medicines market is about $300 billion.