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Anti-cancer drug plant to be set up in Kizad

Life Pharma to invest Dh587m in the new plant

Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: A pharmaceutical research and manufacturing plant to produce anti-cancer drugs would be constructed in the Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (Kizad), it was revealed yesterday.

This is the first time such a facility to produce anti-cancer drugs being constructed in the Gulf Co-operation Council region. A ground breaking ceremony was held in Kizad on Wednesday.

Over the next five years, LIFE Pharma, a pharmaceutical company which is part of VPS Healthcare, plans to invest Dh587 million in the new Kizad plant.

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, Kizad said in a statement.

The new centre will occupy a 1.7 million-square foot plot of land in Kizad’s pharmaceutical and health care 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.

“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. Kizad is a perfect location to enhance our production palette and continue our ambitions to develop high quality products to drive improvements, especially in the treatment of cancer patients”, said Dr Shamsheer Vayalil, Managing Director, VPS Healthcare, at the ground-breaking ceremony.

New era

Capt Mohammad Juma Al Shamsi, CEO, Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC), and Chairman of the Board of Directors, Kizad added: “Today marks the beginning of a new era in Abu Dhabi’s and the UAE’s pharmaceutical landscape. According to Alpen Capital, the GCC health care market is projected to grow at an annual rate of 12 per cent to $69.4 billion by 2018 from an estimated $39.4 billion in 2013.

By offering cutting edge infrastructure and unprecedented intermodal connectivity, Kizad will provide LIFE Pharma with an excellent business platform to cater for this growing market.”

Dev Kumar Singh, President, LIFE Pharma, said, “Alongside the necessary infrastructure, we were looking for a location that provides us with excellent market access. Kizad’s comprehensive transportation network and close proximity to Khalifa Port will give us the opportunity to expand our brand on a local and international level.”

Besides the GCC region and Africa, LIFE Pharma will export through Khalifa Port to markets in Asia, Europe, as well as North and South America.

Strategically located

The oncology facility is scheduled to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2015 and operational in the following year.

LIFE Pharma LLC is part of VPS Healthcare, which also owns and manages various hospitals in the UAE, Oman and India.

Kizad is a 418 square-kilometre industrial zone strategically located between Abu Dhabi and Dubai. It is a cornerstone of the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030 which also highlights the drive to diversification of the economy in pursuit of sustainable growth less dependent on the oil and gas industries. By 2030, Kizad will be expected to contribute up to 15 per cent of Abu Dhabi’s non-oil GDP.