MOH News

​ SPIMACO Localizes Biotechnology Drugs through Alliance with Amgen Inc.
29 April 2020

Under the auspices of HE Minister of Health, Dr. Tawfik bin Fawzan Al-Rabiah, the Saudi Pharmaceutical Industries and Medical Appliances Corporation (SPIMACO) signed an agreement with the US-based Amgen Inc. The agreement aims at localizing the rights to market and transfer the manufacturing steps of a high-quality biotechnology product used to treat autoimmune disorders, such as rheumatoid, psoriasis, among other diseases. This comes in line with the Saudi Vision 2030, which encourages the localization of high-tech pharmaceutical industries and increasing local content.

The agreement stipulates that SPIMACO shall obtain the marketing rights and trademark of a high-quality biotechnology product. SPIMACO would be registered at the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) as the owner of the product’s marketing rights. The product has already been authorized by the US Food and Drug Authority (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA). It was successfully marketed in several European countries. The agreement also provided for transferring and localizing some of the manufacturing steps of the product to the company's plant in Al-Qassim region. This product represents the first fruits of a strategic alliance between the two companies, which will include more high-quality biotechnology products in the future.

Dr. Mohamed bin Sultan Al-Sultan, CEO of SPIMACO, said that the agreement is the first of its kind in the Kingdom and the Middle East. It is envisioned to strengthen SPIMACO’s pharmaceutical status and put it at the forefront as a pioneer in the pharmaceutical industry. The agreement will result in achieving one of the most important goals of the 2030 Vision and the National Transformation Program in the health and industrial sectors, which is to rely on local manufacturing.

The steps of localizing and transferring the technology to the company's plant in Al-Qassim (as set out in the agreement) will contribute to developing the skills of national professionals working in SPIMACO's pharmaceutical factory. They will be trained and qualified to work on this type of biological product.

Al-Sultan explained that the new strategic alliance with Amgen is one of the most important alliances SPIMACO has recently entered. He highlighted the company's keen interest in providing the latest treatment technologies for patients and health service providers in the Kingdom, according to international specifications and standards. This desire stems from the company's pioneering position in KSA. Moreover, the company contributes to achieving pharmaceutical security across the Kingdom.

For his part, Turad Al-Khelaiwi, Amgen Director-General in the Kingdom, praised the health sector in KSA and the development and qualitative leap it is witnessing. “The alliance with SPIMACO is part of the strategy to develop pharmaceutical industries in the Kingdom. It aims to achieve the highest levels of comprehensive and integrated health care. Furthermore, it seeks to raise the levels of satisfaction among outpatients, inpatients, and their families, as well as the community, with the provided health services. Additionally, pharmaceutical industries in the biotechnology field are very complex and require high-cost investments,” he said. Amgen’s Director-General in the Kingdom also praised the efforts of both Amgen and SPIMACO to reach this agreement. 

Praising the pioneering role that SPIMACO plays in KSA’s pharmaceutical market, Al-Khelaiwi highlighted the development and qualification of Saudi professionals which came with this major role. These professionals have managed to prove their worth in the pharmaceutical industry. Their efforts were tangible in products whose quality conforms to the international standards and specifications.

Last Update : 01 June 2020 11:35 PM
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