Thursday, Apr 25, 2019
Science & Technology | Africa | Egypt

Technology and innovation, Egypt

Putting Egypt at the forefront of biotech for the region


2 weeks ago

DR. WAFIK BARDISSI Chairman and CEO, Minapharm
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Minapharm continues to venture into the future of biotech by investing in new facilities in Egypt and Berlin, opening the door for synergy projects to jointly develop and produce modern immunotherapies for Egypt, the MENA region and beyond.

 

Egypt remains one of the largest producers and consumers of pharmaceuticals in the Middle East and Africa and aims to position itself as a leading provider of medicines to the region, despite the economic instability it has witnessed following the currency devaluation. The pharmaceutical sector is seeing increasing attention from investors and the growing stability of businesses capable of adjusting to the new economics of a changing industry.

With the shift towards complex molecules and advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMP) to accommodate unmet medical needs, Minapharm is leading a transition to high-value biologicals in developing markets. Aside from the production of life-saving and lifeenhancing medicines, the company is adopting an  international operation platform for biotechnology and cellular engineering.

With over 50 years of experience in producing the highest-quality products based on cutting-edge research and innovation, Minapharm covers a broad spectrum of medicines, ranging from small molecules to extremely complex bioengineered proteins. Key to Minapharm’s success and its regional leadership has been its strategic alliances with world leaders at the forefront of pharmaceutical innovation. The cooperation with European and U.S. partners has enabled the transfer of technologies to provide locally manufactured products in an affordable way, not only for the Egyptian market but for other emerging countries.

“While the focus in Egypt is still on small molecules, Minapharm was an early recognizer of the shift in the health-care industry and embarked on a transition towards large, complex molecules ready to bridge to next-generation medicines,” says Dr. Wafik Bardissi, Chairman and CEO of Minapharm.

By its part, the Egyptian government has made efforts to facilitate the growth of the pharmaceutical industry, however, more attention needs to be given to address the obstacles to encourage local manufacturing of innovative products and to develop strategies to accommodate the growing demand for biologics versus the production of simple molecules. “For example, several national health authorities across the world have put in place regulations to encourage the use of innovative technologies for biosimilars by authorizing tax incentives and subsidies,” says Dr. Bardissi.

As itself a leader in the region, Minapharm established its biotech subsidiary in 2003 in Cairo, the first biopharmaceutical facility in Egypt, Africa and the Middle East, specialized in the research, development and manufacturing of complex genetically engineered proteins for unmet medical needs. Taking a leap into cell line engineering, Minapharm further consolidated its biotech business model in 2010 by acquiring ProBioGen AG, a Berlin-based internationally renowned contract development and manufacturing organization and technology provider of biopharmaceuticals. This business model allowed Minapharm to cover the full value chain from cell line to launch of finished product, so patients in developing countries can also benefit from the latest innovations.

“The establishment of a hybrid bioengineering R&D community of Egyptian and German scientists allows us to constantly innovate, with synergistic projects driving technology transfer between Cairo and Minapharm continues to venture into the future of biotech by investing in new facilities in Egypt and Berlin, opening the door for synergy projects to jointly develop and produce modern immunotherapies for Egypt, the MENA region and beyond. Putting Egypt at the forefront of biotech for the region Berlin to develop high-quality, yet cost-effective, genetically engineered drugs,” explains Dr. Bardissi.

Enabled by its acquisition of ProBioGen AG, Minapharm has transformed from a regional technology driven manufacturer of affordable complex medicines to a global provider to the biotech industry at large.

Minapharm continues to venture into the future of biotech by investing in two new facilities in Cairo and Berlin, enabling synergy projects to jointly develop modern immunotherapies for Egypt, the MENA region and beyond.

“It is, therefore, not unlikely to see Minapharm implementing a radically ongoing transformation of the global healthcare industry from traditional chemical compounds to today’s complex genetically engineered medicines and tomorrow’s ATMPs,” adds Dr. Bardissi.

 


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