ADQ Expanding Foundation for Healthcare and Pharma Ecosystem in the UAE

Jan 7, 2021

News

  • ADQ to acquire Pharmax Pharmaceuticals FZ-LLC, a generic pharmaceutical manufacturer
  • ADQ invests in Biocon Biologics Limited, a global leader in biosimilars

ADQ, one of the region's largest holding companies with a broad portfolio of major enterprises spanning key sectors of Abu Dhabi's diversified economy, today announced two strategic investments, significantly expanding its healthcare and pharma portfolio. ADQ has agreed to acquire Pharmax Pharmaceuticals FZ-LLC, a UAE-based pharmaceutical company which manufactures and markets affordable, branded generic medication, and also to invest in a minority stake in Biocon Biologics Limited ("Biocon Biologics"), a subsidiary of Biocon Ltd. that specialises in developing, manufacturing and marketing high-quality, affordable biosimilars across global markets.

Through its investment in Pharmax, ADQ strengthens its healthcare portfolio by addressing a shortage of affordable medication to create a cost-efficient healthcare system in the UAE that balances cost and quality. At the same time, this equity investment in Biocon Biologics represents an important step towards developing cutting-edge expertise in high quality biosimilars to target chronic conditions such as diabetes, oncology, immunology, etc.

After these two investments are complete, ADQ will have investments across the healthcare and pharma value chain – beginning with pharmaceutical development and manufacturing with Pharmax, patient care through Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA), laboratory testing services through Union71 and reimbursement through National Health Insurance Company (Daman). In addition, a minority stake in Biocon Biologics will give us an opportunity to get exposure to high growth biosimilars segment. ADQ’s extensive portfolio also extends to pharmaceutical procurement, handling and logistics with its ownership of Rafed, Abu Dhabi Ports, and Abu Dhabi Airport Company as well as its investment in Aramex.

H.E. Mohamed Hassan Alsuwaidi, Chief Executive Officer of ADQ, said: "Our long-term ambition for ADQ’s healthcare and pharma portfolio is to create a provision-centred, digitally enhanced ecosystem that is anchored in world-class clinical excellence, effective population health management and resilient supply chain infrastructure. While we anticipate this will unlock shareholder value, it will also, importantly, deliver positive socio-economic impact with better health outcomes, optimized healthcare spend and more opportunities for local and international talent."

His Excellency added: "We are well on our way to building out a supply chain that ensures greater accessibility of healthcare and pharma products and supplies for the people of Abu Dhabi and beyond. As a local producer of generic medication, Pharmax will provide us with a high-quality facility, deep sector knowledge and strong relationships for growing pharma manufacturing in the UAE. Biocon Biologics proven R&D track record, manufacturing scale and commercial partnerships worldwide provide us with an opportunity to benefit from the biosimilar sector that is set to grow as patents of originator biologics expire and patients demand lower priced drugs globally."

Leading Global Biopharmaceutical Company Enabling Affordable Access

Biocon Limited is an innovation-led, global biopharmaceuticals company that develops and commercializes novel biologics, biosimilars, and complex generic APIs & formulations in India and several key global markets including the US and Europe. The company is committed to enhancing affordable access to complex therapies for chronic conditions like diabetes, oncology and immunology.

Biocon Biologics Limited, a subsidiary of Biocon Limited, is uniquely positioned as a fully integrated ‘pure play’ biosimilars organization in the world. The company is leveraging cutting-edge science, innovative tech platforms and advanced research & development capabilities to lower treatment costs while improving healthcare outcomes. Five molecules from Biocon Biologics’ biosimilars portfolio have been taken from lab to market, of which three have been commercialized in developed markets like United States, EU, Australia, Canada and Japan. The company is committed to impact millions of patients across the globe. It has a platform of 28 biosimilar molecules across diabetes, oncology, immunology, dermatology, ophthalmology, neurology, rheumatology and inflammatory diseases. With a multi-cultural team of over 4,500 people, Biocon Biologics aspires to transform healthcare through affordable innovative solutions as well as impact 5 million patients’ lives by FY 22.

Dr. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Executive Chairperson of Biocon, said: "We welcome ADQ as our investment partner as we pursue our shared goal of expanding access to high quality affordable biopharmaceuticals to patients across the globe. We are committed to pursue our affordable innovation model to generate savings for the healthcare systems worldwide. This investment is an endorsement of the value that Biocon Biologics business has built as a fully integrated pure-play biosimilars company and will enable us to expand our capabilities further."

UAE-Based, State-of-the-Art Manufacturer

Pharmax specializes in manufacturing and packaging branded generic products, mainly of small molecule and oral solid dosage (OSD) pharmaceuticals across a wide range of therapeutic areas such as cardiology, diabetes, gastroenterology and neurology. Pharmax has batch release approvals for various other dosage forms such as injectables, inhalers, topical and liquid orals. Launched in April 2020, the company’s state-of-the-art facility has a total area of more than 110,000 sq. ft. with installed production capacity of more than 250 million tablets and 85 million capsules annually. Pharmax received its first GMP approval from the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention in 2019, and is one of only a few facilities in the UAE that has been approved by the European Union Good Manufacturing Practices (EU GMP).

Madhukar Tanna, Chief Executive Officer of Pharmax Pharmaceuticals, commented: "We established Pharmax with the belief that patients all over the world deserve access to affordable, effective medications. Joining forces with ADQ will allow us to increase the availability of locally manufactured, quality, affordable generic and complex drugs. At the same time, we will have greater opportunities to increase availability of pharmaceuticals in the UAE while further expanding our distribution in the region."

Both transactions are subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.

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