SAUDI ARABIA – Dammam Pharma Co. has joined hands with the Merck Sharp & Dohme International (MSD) company to manufacture type 2 diabetes medications in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

In a joint statement, Abdallah Nabil, the General Manager of the MSD branch in Saudi Arabia, said: “The newly signed agreement marks a significant step toward localizing the pharmaceutical industries.”

Abdallah Nabil further said that the project aligns with the objectives of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 to increase local production of safe, effective, quality, and affordable pharmaceuticals.

The project will provide opportunities to transfer highly specialized pharmaceutical technologies to the Kingdom and create new scope for investment. It will also create new employment opportunities in the labor market,” outlined the MSD General Manager.

Notably, MSD is a trade name of Merck & Co., Inc. aiming to make a real difference with an innovative range of services and pharmaceutical products which promote and support the health and wellbeing of humans and animals around the world.

The biopharmaceutical company confirmed it is working to reduce levels of a cancer-causing organic compound that was found in some of its popular type 2 diabetes drugs.

Through the cooperation agreement between Dammam Pharma Co., and MSD, Saudi Arabia will house the first-of-its-kind factory in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) to produce type 2 diabetes drugs.

The new strategic partnership is intended to not only meet anticipated strong future demand for type 2 diabetes drugs throughout the Kingdom but to also facilitate export of these medications to regional markets.

As specified in the cooperation agreement, the production of type 2 diabetes medications is slated to begin in the first quarter of 2024.

The signing ceremony for the cooperation agreement between Dammam Pharma Co. and MSD was held at the headquarters of the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources.

It is worth highlighting that the signing ceremony was officially graced by the Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources Bandar Ibrahim Alkhorayef.

In his official address, Chief Executive Officer of SPIMACO, Jerome Cabannes, said: “This partnership reaffirms the company’s commitment to providing advanced specialized treatments, on par with the highest international standards, in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”

The SPIMACO CEO pointed out that the agreement aligns with the objectives of the National Strategy for Industry, which aims to support the localization of pharmaceutical products and enhance the health and drug security of the Kingdom.

This proposed collaboration comes as the pharmaceutical market in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia currently amounts to approximately 34 billion Saudi Arabian riyals (US$9.07 billion) and it is expected to reach 40 billion riyals (US$10.66 billion) by 2030.

It goes without saying, the proposed collaboration between Dammam Pharma Co., and MSD will support the availability and accessibility of type 2 diabetes medications for patients in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

This strategic alliance marks a significant milestone in the ongoing battle against diabetes in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Middle East, and beyond.

Moreover, Dammam Pharma Co., a subsidiary of Saudi Pharmaceutical Industries and Medical Appliances Corp. (SPIMACO), is poised to continue contributing to sustained economic growth and social development in the region.

SPIMACO turned profitable at 40.40 million riyals (US$10.77 million) in the first nine months of 2023, against net losses of 67 million riyals (US$ 17.86 million) in the first nine months of 2022.

In 2023, the company committed to a five-year strategy to become the leader in the Saudi pharmaceutical industry, and to contribute significantly to the improvement of patient care and wellbeing.

Underlining the contribution of the latest project to economic growth, Jerome Cabannes said: “The local manufacturing of MSD medication for diabetes constitutes an important step toward transferring and localizing pharmaceutical manufacturing technologies in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”

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