Dubai Investments partners with France’s Sanofi on generics portfolio

Dubai Investments has signed a strategic agreement with France's Sanofi to promote a new generics portfolio across the Middle East.
Dubai Investments and Sanofi work together to promote a new generics portfolio in the UAE and the wider Middle East. Robert Pratta / Reuters
Dubai Investments and Sanofi work together to promote a new generics portfolio in the UAE and the wider Middle East. Robert Pratta / Reuters

Dubai Investments (DI) has tied up with Sanofi of France, becoming the third UAE entity in two months to partner with an international pharmaceuticals company.

The agreement, announced yesterday on the Dubai Financial Market, will involve DI and Sanofi working together to promote a new generics portfolio in the UAE and the Middle East, via the DI subsidiary Globalpharma.

“Products will be commercialised under a joint entity to better meet the needs of patients within the UAE and the wider region,” DI said.

Financial details of the agreement, which is still subject to regulatory approval from the relevant authorities, were not disclosed.

DI shares rose by more than 3 per cent in early trading yesterday, before closing up 1.46 per cent at Dh3.47 apiece.

Sanofi did not respond to a request for comment on the agreement.

The promotion of a generics portfolio backed by a big-name pharmaceutical company such as Sanofi comes amid lingering public distrust of generic drugs in developing markets despite their lower cost, according to a European pharmaceuticals analyst.

“This is why innovative companies such as Sanofi are moving into this market, because they are trusted players, and consumers will be willing to pay a premium for a name they know,” the analyst said, requesting anonymity.

“It’s part of the core strategy to develop generics in emerging markets and new markets where there’s little access to medicines at affordable prices.”

About one-third of Sanofi’s revenues come from emerging markets, he noted.

International companies are looking to boost emerging market revenues as patents on high-margin medicines in western markets approach their expiry dates.

The GCC healthcare market is expected to grow by 12 per cent a year to US$69.4 billion by 2018 compared with $39.4bn in 2013, according to a report published last month by Alpen Capital, an investment bank.

Last week, Abu Dhabi’s Neopharma announced a tie-up with the Pfizer subsidiary Wyeth for manufacturing selected drugs at the company’s facilities in Mussafah, which will be available in the UAE by next year.

Neopharma will start with a couple of cardiovascular medicines related to hypertension and heart diseases, and will later move on to anti-inflammatory, pain management, women’s health and anti-infective drugs.

Ras Al Khaimah-based Gulf Pharmaceutical Industries (Julphar) last month announced a five-year licensing agreement with MSD, the international operations arm of the pharmaceuticals giant Merck.

The agreement provides Julphar, the UAE’s largest domestic pharmaceuticals company, with exclusive rights for the production, marketing, distribution and sale of certain MSD products in the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and Iraq.

jeverington@thenational.ae

Follow us on Twitter @Ind_Insights

Published: May 26, 2014 04:00 AM

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