Saudi’s King Abdullah Economic City signs deal for region’s largest vaccine factory

The plant will be the first to produce BCG vaccines in the Middle East, localising Saudi's pharma supply chain.
Ayman Mansi, CEO of the Industrial Valley (right), with Mohammad Al-Esayi, chairman of Al-Mas International Pharmaceutical Industry (left).
Ayman Mansi, CEO of the Industrial Valley (right), with Mohammad Al-Esayi, chairman of Al-Mas International Pharmaceutical Industry (left).

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Al-Mas International Pharmaceutical Industry has signed a contract with Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) to establish one of the largest BCG vaccine production plants in the world.

The plant will be the first to produce BCG vaccines in the Middle East, with the first phase leased at 40,000sqm of land in the Industrial Valley.

“We are aiming to make KAEC the largest pharmaceutical complex in the region by attracting local and international companies that meet the needs of the local market,” said Ayman Mansi, CEO of the Industrial Valley.

“Imports constitute about 80 per cent of the Saudi market’s needs, thereby making localisation of the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries a strategic priority for KAEC in order to contribute to achieving pharmaceutical security in the Kingdom,” he added.

Mohammad Al-Esayi, chairman of Al-Mas International Pharmaceutical Industry, said the first phase of the project was scheduled for completion in mid-2021.

“The first phase will include cells storage in these vaccines, which are being manufactured for the first time in the region and will also be the first production of active vaccines in the Middle East,” he said.

Al-Esayi added that another project is currently being developed for future plants to cover the needs of the Saudi, Gulf and regional markets, taking advantage of the logistic services offered by the Industrial Valley, King Abdullah Port and the re-export zone.

Mansi welcomed this news, saying that the localisation of the pharmaceutical industry is a strategic priority to achieve pharmaceutical security in the Kingdom, as its consumption of medication is estimated at more than SR15 billion (US $4 billion) annually.

“It is the largest in terms of total value in the Arab pharmaceutical market, while the local industry covers about 20 percent of the demand in the local market,” Mansi added.

“The major investment opportunities provided by the Industrial Valley, which is directly connected to King Abdullah Port, qualifies it to become a major destination and an advanced supply point for logistics services and industries in the region.”