N.l.C Development Program Collaborates with GE Healthcare to Explores Vaccine Preparedness
– GE Healthcare is entering into a vaccine collaboration with the National Industrial Clusters Development Program (NICDP) under the Ministry of Power, Industries and Minerals, SaudiVax and King Saud University, to enable vaccine self-sufficiency and pandemic preparedness in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).
The NICDP is leading the development of Saudi Arabia’s bio-pharmaceutical industry and GE Healthcare has been commissioned to undertake a vaccine feasibility study to explore and recommend a potential model for overall vaccine self-sufficiency. In addition, SaudiVax, with the support of GE Healthcare, has started a design study aimed at establishing a multipurpose vaccine and monoclonal antibody manufacturing facility in Riyadh to help develop a fully-fledged life sciences industry in the Kingdom and potentially create more than 1,500 new jobs.
The three partners are also working together with King Saud University to drive skills development through an innovative bioprocess education program collaboration for technicians and specialized scientists, research and development feeding the pipeline of future SaudiVax vaccines and a clinical trial unit, allowing future biopharmaceutical drugs to be tested before review and approval by the Saudi Food & Drug Administration to enter the local market.
“The strategic vision in exploring the potential for a Vaccine & Monoclonal Antibody manufacturing facility and a bio-science park in the Kingdom is firmly aligned with the healthcare sector priorities outlined in Saudi Vision 2030 and the new Ministry of Power, Industries and Minerals mandate to diversify the economy through innovative industries. This will support the government’s goal to address the incidence of lifestyle diseases, create job opportunities for medical and pharma students and other professionals, thus establishing the Kingdom as a hub for bio-sciences. GE Healthcare’s design and feasibility study will set the platform for these projects that catalyze economic diversification through high-tech biopharmaceutical manufacturing.”, says Eng. Khalid Al Salem, President, NICDP.
Currently, the Saudi healthcare market is more than $25 billion, growing at 12 percent annually. The Kingdom’s pharmaceutical market alone reached more than $6 billion, and growing at 11 percent annually, is the largest in the Middle East and North Africa.1
“Building local manufacturing for vaccines serves both the needs of the Kingdom and surrounding countries. The goal is not only to provide the technology and ability to enable self-sufficiency and ensure a faster pandemic response, but also to drive diversification of the economy by establishing a new bio-tech industry and take the country a step closer to its 2030 vision,” says David Carr, President and CEO of GE Healthcare, Saudi Arabia.