RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund on Sunday launched a commercial-scale contract development and manufacturing organization, Lifera, to help boost the local biopharmaceutical industry.
The pharmaceutical investment company aims to focus on manufacturing life-saving and essential pharmaceutical products, including insulins, vaccines, plasma therapeutics, monoclonal antibodies, cell and gene therapies, and innovative small molecules, said an official statement.
It seeks to bolster Saudi Arabia’s position as a global pharmaceutical manufacturing destination.
Yazeed A. Al-Humied, deputy governor and head of MENA Investments at PIF, said: “PIF is investing to enable a leading health sector in Saudi Arabia, supporting the development of and access to advanced medicines and treatments.”
According to the statement, the company will create partnerships with leading local and international companies and attract targeted investments to boost local capacity and drive the development of domestic manufacturing in this sector.
Lifera aims to drive formulation development, medicine development, manufacturing and testing services for sterile pharmaceutical products.
Al-Humied said Lifera intends to partner with leading companies in the sector to localize manufacturing, attract investment and enable the private sector to scale up, ensuring easier access for patients, while securing the supply of life-saving medicines that can meet local, regional, and global demand.
Through strategic investments, PIF aspires to be a vital enabler acting as a catalyst to innovate and enhance the healthcare eco-system, whilst creating significant opportunities for the domestic private sector.
In its efforts to enable the supply chain of medicines, the wealth fund has also invested in the National Unified Procurement Co.
Since 2017, PIF has established 79 companies across its 13 strategic sectors.