SFDA approves Saudi-made medicine for Hepatitis C virus

The Saudi Food and Drug Authority. (SPA)
Updated 04 July 2016

SFDA approves Saudi-made medicine for Hepatitis C virus

RIYADH: The Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) has granted a license to the first Saudi-made medicine for the treatment of hepatitis C virus (HCV), local media said. The announcement reportedly comes in line with the strategy of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Tenth Saudi Development Plan, which is primarily aimed at eliminating HCV by 2030, media said.
The Saudi Pharmaceutical Industries and Medical Appliances Corporation (SPIMACO) has launched a medicine called “Sofira,” which is the first Saudi pharmaceutical product for the treatment of hepatitis C.
Spimaco CEO Fahad Al-Khalaf said his company has been active for years in producing pharmaceutical products for the treatment of incurable diseases such as chronic viral hepatitis, which is the direct cause of liver cirrhosis.
In this context, he expressed thanks to the SFDA for its continued support to the national industries and for granting approval to this particular product.
Meanwhile, the company plans to offer electronic applications on smart mobiles to acquaint patients with a healthy life and to ensure that they follow the treatment program. The application is also intended to raise the level of contact between patients and health service providers, the company said.
Some 1.4 million patients around the world are dying from the hepatitis disease every year, according to statistics. According to available data, HCV prevalence in Saudi Arabia varies in different provinces, with the highest rates being in the Western and Southern provinces. Most of the studies among blood donors documented a decrease in HCV prevalence, probably due to increased awareness and improved socioeconomic status.

Dr. Iman bint Habas Al-Mutairi, new CEO of Saudi National Competitiveness Center

Updated 19 September 2019

Dr. Iman bint Habas Al-Mutairi, new CEO of Saudi National Competitiveness Center

Dr. Iman bint Habas Al-Mutairi is the newly appointed CEO of the National Competitiveness Center (NCC).

Al-Mutairi received her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from King Faisal University in 1992. In 1997, she obtained a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Bristol, UK.

She began her career as a lecturer in the chemistry department of King Faisal University, from 1993 to 1994, before lecturing at the University of Bristol for three years.

In 1998, she became an assistant professor of human genetics at Harvard University, and two years later she joined Perkin Elmer as a scientific research consultant in biological sciences in the US until 2002.

A year later, she joined Hospital Aramco as a preventive medicine consultant. She then headed the department of public medical relations, and served as an acting director of the department of medical technical support services, and the head of quality and patient safety from 2007 to 2010.

With Saudi Aramco, she headed the manpower planning and analysis department for a year, before she became the project manager of the Aramco Accelerated Strategic Transformation Program from 2011 to 2012.

Al-Mutairi ran her company, Heemah for Business Services between 2014 and 2017.

She also helped with the establishment of the National Competitiveness Center, and coordinated the partnership between Johns Hopkins Hospital and Aramco Healthcare.

In 2017, Al-Mutairi served as an adviser to the minister of commerce and investment.