AstraZeneca, SPIMACO initiate local CMO deal

AstraZeneca, SPIMACO initiate local CMO deal
The signing ceremony took place in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Updated 30 June 2018

AstraZeneca, SPIMACO initiate local CMO deal

AstraZeneca, SPIMACO initiate local CMO deal

AstraZeneca and Saudi Pharmaceutical Industries & Medical Appliances Corporation (SPIMACO) have officially initiated the launch of the contract manufacturing operation arrangement (CMO) in Saudi Arabia. Representatives from both companies recently signed the agreement to conclude an investment, development and technology transfer initiative. 

The signing ceremony took place in Gothenburg, Sweden, in the presence of Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah, Saudi Arabia’s minister of health, following the memorandum of understanding that was signed between AstraZeneca and SPIMACO earlier in March during the official visit of the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the UK.

SPIMACO’s chief executive officer, Fahad Al-Khalaf said: “Our agreement with AstraZeneca will focus on technology transfer of five medical products (11 SKUs) that are valued at around SR300 million ($80 million) per annum, where three of these products will require a special and separate unit for manufacturing purposes.”

“This strategic alliance is of paramount importance, and one which reflects the company’s keen interest to provide the latest treatment and therapies for patients and care providers in the Kingdom that are aligned to the highest global standards, reflecting the company’s leading position as one of the largest drug production companies. SPIMACO aims to secure supply through local manufacturing,” added Al-Khalaf.

The $80 million deal aims to extend access to around three million patients across Saudi Arabia, with locally produced innovative medicines that are highly relevant to local medical needs in the cardiovascular, diabetes and gastrointestinal areas. Alongside the innovation being localized, this CMO will play a key role in developing highly skilled local Saudi talent. 

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), non-communicable diseases (NCDs) account for 71 percent of all deaths in Saudi Arabia, with cardiovascular disease being the leading cause of mortality.

As part of Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia’s National Transformation Program (NTP) focuses on key elements across the health care industry that include increased use of technology, health care education, enhanced professional development as well as local manufacturing of pharmaceuticals.

Ismail Shehada, country president Saudi Arabia — AstraZeneca, said: “Saudi Arabia is at the heart of our regional operations in the region and AstraZeneca is committed to expand its activities in the Kingdom to meet local health care demands. With the current infrastructure changes to the local economy, the potential for the Saudi market is gaining more momentum to create more synergies locally and around the region, as we continue to support Vision 2030’s health agenda.”

“Our collaboration with SPIMACO is a core component of our strategic approach which focuses on further developing the pharmaceutical sector in the Kingdom with the objective of supporting a comprehensive health care delivery among consumers, patients and the local medical community,” added Shehada.