Novartis, Sudair Pharma to produce cancer drugs in KSA

Novartis, Sudair Pharma to produce cancer drugs in KSA
Dr. Othman Fahad Al-Mutlaq, general manager of Novartis, and Dr. Yasser Ibrahim Al-Obaida, CEO of Sudair Pharmaceuticals Company, at the signing ceremony.
Updated 30 April 2019

Novartis, Sudair Pharma to produce cancer drugs in KSA

Novartis, Sudair Pharma to produce cancer drugs in KSA

Novartis International AG and Sudair Pharmaceuticals Company (Sudair Pharma) have signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on local manufacturing of a range of cancer drugs in the Kingdom.

The agreement was signed under the patronage of Dr. Hisham Al-Jedaie, president of Saudi Food and Drug Authority, and in the presence of Ibrahim Saleh Al-Suwail, deputy governor of Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA), and Swiss Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Dr. Andreas Schaller. A number of specialists and decision-makers from the health care sector also attended the signing ceremony.

Under the agreement, Novartis will provide all technological knowhow and information on quality standards related to the production of cancer drugs to Sudair Pharma.

“Novartis, as one of the leading international pharmaceutical companies, is keen to engage with Saudi society and work with different governmental agencies to participate in the realization of the National Transformation Program (NTP) 2020 and the Saudi Vision 2030. 

“Therefore, Novartis has decided to strategically drive a long-term localization plan, which includes the transfer of technology, co-manufacturing agreements with local pharma manufacturers, building capacities and strengthening its clinical research programs.”

The Swiss pharmaceutical giant said it aims to help more Saudi patients suffering from cancer and has therefore, entered into a strategic partnership with a well-known cancer drugs manufacturing expert — Sudair Pharma. 

More than a decade ago, Novartis AG was the first company to form a dedicated global business unit to develop and launch innovative oncology medicines. 

The company focuses on five key cancer areas — breast cancer, lung cancer, melanoma, kidney cancer and hematology.

For more than 25 years, Novartis has been at the forefront of driving scientific advancements and improving clinical practice in collaboration with the global breast cancer community. 

The drugmaker also has a strong heritage in the research, development and discovery of treatments for advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC). RCC is the most common type of kidney cancer, accounting for 90 percent of all kidney tumors. 

Established in 2014, Sudair Pharma is a Saudi-based company, which builds and operates an advanced pharmaceutical manufacturing complex to combat chronic and life-threatening diseases.

Data from the World Health Organization reveals a faster increase of cancer incidence rates in the Middle East in comparison to the rest of the world. The Saudi Cancer Registry has recorded an increase of more than 12 percent per annum compared to the global rise, which does not exceed 3 percent per annum. This acceleration is not proportional to an increase in the number of cancer treatment centers or specialized manufacturers for the production of treatment drugs.