AD Ports Group, the operator of industrial cities and free zones in Abu Dhabi, has signed a preliminary agreement with Hayat Biotech to support the pharmaceutical company's international expansion.
Under the deal, Hayat Biotech’s global distribution efforts will be handled through AD Ports Group’s pharma logistics network, which includes its cold and ultra-cold pharma hub based in Kizad, AD Ports said in a statement on Tuesday to the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, where its shares are traded.
The initial phase of the agreement covers the shipping of strategic construction supplies, including containers, machinery, raw materials and equipment to support the construction of Hayat Biotech’s global biopharmaceutical manufacturing facilities.
Once completed, the facilities will produce vital biopharmaceutical products, including the Hayat-Vax vaccine, the first indigenously produced Covid-19 vaccine in the UAE and the Arab world, the statement said.
The distribution will be handled by the Hope Consortium, an Abu Dhabi-led partnership which operates an end-to-end pharma supply chain.
"The UAE continues to take significant steps towards enabling global access to pharmaceutical products and supplies," said Capt Mohamed Al Shamisi, managing director and group chief executive of AD Ports Group.
The move supports the aim of "establishing Abu Dhabi as a global life sciences hub", he said.
The UAE's pharmaceutical market is expected to grow 27 per cent between 2021 and 2025, as the country pushes to become a regional pharmaceutical centre, Abu Dhabi holding company ADQ said in a report earlier this year.
The size of the local pharmaceutical market is expected to hit $4.7 billion in value by 2025, up three times from 2011.
The number of manufacturing units in the UAE reached 23 in 2021, up from four in 2010, with 14 producing medicines, four manufacturing medical devices and two focused on disinfectant solutions. There are now more than 2,500 medicines produced locally, the report said.
Hayat Biotech, based in the UAE, is a joint venture between Abu Dhabi’s G42 and Sinopharm. It focuses on the development of life sciences through advanced clinical trials, medical research and development, as well as the distribution of new pharmaceutical products and vaccines.
The company began locally producing the Hayat-Vax vaccine in March 2021, which has been distributed worldwide, in part, by the Hope Consortium partnership.
The consortium, whose founding members include the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi, Etihad Cargo, Maqta Gateway, Rafed, SkyCell and AD Ports Group, is supporting the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines to all parts of the globe. So far, it has handled more than 250 million vaccine doses across 60 countries.
Last year, Hayat Biotech also announced the development of a purpose-built R&D hub for life sciences, biotechnology and vaccine production.
Set up in Kizad, the facility will be capable of producing more than 200 million vaccine doses annually.
Under the latest partnership, AD Ports will help Hayat Biotech’s efforts to set up manufacturing centres worldwide and provide logistics solutions to serve its international markets.
“The world is facing fundamental challenges that are affecting our well-being, health and quality of life," said Naser Al Yammahi, deputy chief executive of Hayat Biotech.
"We are looking to further expand our distribution network to deliver necessary biopharmaceutical products to improve the health of our nation and across the globe.”