By Andy Sambidge
Construction work on new pharmaceutical research and manufacturing plant starts in Abu Dhabi
Construction work has begun on the first pharmaceutical research and manufacturing plant in the Gulf Corporation Council (GCC) region to produce anti-cancer drugs, it has been announced.
Officials from Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (Kizad) and LIFE Pharma have taken part in a ground-breaking ceremony for the facility.
Over the next five years, LIFE Pharma, which is part of VPS Healthcare, plans to invest AED587 million ($160 million) in the new Kizad plant.
The facility, which will be the first in Kizad to manufacture pharmaceutical products, will be a state-of-the-art pharmaceutical centre of excellence, combing latest technologies and world class expertise to contribute to the discovery of new cancer therapies, the company said in a statement.
LIFE Pharma, together with the UAE Ministry of Health (MOH), aims to establish Abu Dhabi and the UAE on the world map of medical research.
The centre will follow international standards in line with globally recognised organisations, such as the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in the UK, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the US, the statement said.
The new centre will occupy a 1.7 million square foot plot of land in Kizad's pharmaceutical and healthcare cluster and will contain four production facilities.
Alongside the cancer control and research facility, the other three will produce vaccines, sterile injections and oral solid dosage to be used in the treatment of illnesses, such as hepatitis and influenza.
The oncology facility will be the first of the four facilities to be set up and is scheduled to be completed by Q4 2015 and operational in the following year.
"We are very pleased to see our plans for a new research and manufacturing centre progressing. The new plant will be a game changer for the local and regional pharma industry," said Dr Shamsheer Vayalil, managing director, VPS Healthcare.
LIFE Pharma said it will export through Khalifa Port to markets in Asia, Europe, as well as North and South America.