RIYADH: Saudi Arabia signed initial agreements with Pfizer and AstraZeneca as it plans to produce vaccines locally and enhance its medical research capabilities, it was reported on Tuesday.
The Saudi Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources, the King Abdullah International Center for Medical Research (KIMAR), and the Pfizer Scientific Foundation have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Tuesday, to build the foundations for the manufacture of viral and genetic vaccines in the Kingdom, Argaam reported.
The MoU, signed during the activities of the Riyadh Summit for Medical Technology 2021, held in Riyadh, also includes providing technical support for the establishment of the human cell platform.
On the other hand, AstraZeneca signed a memorandum of understanding with the Saudi Ministry of Investment and the National Guard.
The Saudi Ministry of Investment announced signing the deal with the aim of enhancing the business of the AstraZeneca Group in the Kingdom.
Osama Al-Zamil, Deputy Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources said that there are more than 40 pharmaceutical factories in Saudi Arabia, covering 36 percent of the needs of the local market.
Al-Zamil added during the Riyadh Summit for Medical Technology that the size of the local pharmaceutical market is SR32 billion, making it the largest pharmaceutical market in the region.
Al-Zamil estimated the volume of growth in the local pharmaceutical sector at about 5 percent annually, while exports are estimated at SR1.5 billion.
The MoU aims to enhance the supervision of its local manufacturing project with its local partners, all the way to the commercial supply stage, CNBC Arabia reported.
The agreement is exploring opportunities to establish world-class clinical research centers in Saudi Arabia, in order to enhance its ambition to provide the best and most innovative pharmaceutical products to patients in the Kingdom, the ministry said in a statement.
The deal will work to advance the great capabilities of the health care sector in the Kingdom, whether in the field of research, studies or clinical trials, leading to the provision of medical preparations and medicines, in a way that enhances the services provided in the health sector, Minister of Investment Khalid bin Abdulaziz Al-Falih said.
The Executive Director of Health Affairs at the Ministry of National Guard, Dr. Bandar bin Abdul Mohsen Al-Knawy said that the agreement with AstraZeneca opens the door for leading international companies to participate in enhancing the capabilities of the health care sector in the Kingdom and benefit from the high demand for health services.