RIYADH: The Saudi Investment Ministry and the local subsidiary of Swiss biotechnology giant Roche Group have signed an agreement to establish a new partnership that will see the two entities collaborate on initiatives to develop the Kingdom’s healthcare and life sciences sector.
Roche Products Saudi Arabia (RPSA) will work with the ministry to identify and facilitate investment opportunities, help boost the number of Saudis employed in the sector, advise on developing policy and regulation, and work together on the establishment of public-private partnerships across the life sciences ecosystem.
The official signing took place at the ministry’s headquarters in Riyadh, in the presence of Investment Minister Khalid Al-Falih.
Various projects are already underway as part of the new collaboration, including a policy alliance to enhance the clinical trials industry in the Kingdom and identify potential investment opportunities.
“Saudi Arabia’s nascent biotechnology and life science industries will play a central role in driving our post-pandemic economic recovery,” Al-Falih was quoted as saying.
“The past 12 months have shown us that Saudi Arabia has one of the G20’s most resilient economies — we recorded a 12 percent increase in FDI (foreign direct investment) in the first half of 2020 despite a challenging economic backdrop.”
Roche Group is the world’s largest biotech company and works in a diverse range of sectors, including medicines related to infectious diseases, cancer diagnostics and diabetes.
Founded in 1896 and headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, it is active in over 100 countries, employs around 100,000 people and last year posted sales of $65 billion.
RPSA has been active in Saudi Arabia for over 30 years, and became a fully operational legal entity in 2018.