Mubadala to acquire Kelix bio in push to expand life sciences portfolio

Abu Dhabi's strategic investment arm has signed a definitive agreement to buy the emerging markets-focused specialty pharmaceutical company

The latest acquisition is in line with Mubadala’s strategy of positioning the UAE as a global leader in the life sciences sector. Photo: Mubadala
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Mubadala Investment Company, Abu Dhabi’s strategic investment arm, is to acquire emerging markets-focused speciality pharmaceutical company Kelix bio in a push to further develop the UAE’s life sciences ecosystem.

Mubadala entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the company from a consortium of investors, including Development Partners International, British International Investment and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Mubadala said in a statement on Monday.

The deal, which is subject to regulatory approvals, is in line with Mubadala’s strategy of supporting the UAE’s economic diversification efforts. It did not give financial details of the transaction.

“[The] acquisition is testament to the role Mubadala continues to play in accelerating the nation’s economic diversification through our portfolio companies and national champions,” said Bakheet Al Katheeri, chief executive of Mubadala’s UAE Investments Platform.

The latest partnership will also deliver long-term “socio-economic returns”, including improved health care, drug security and job creation in the UAE.

Kelix bio is a speciality pharmaceutical business focused on delivering complex generic drugs across emerging markets. The company, which has its headquarters in the Dubai International Financial Centre, also operates out of its office in the UK.

Set up in November 2020, the company has since acquired manufacturing businesses in India, Egypt, Malta and Morocco. It has commercialised a broad variety of therapies for diabetes, oncology, cardiology and the central nervous system.

The UAE has historically recorded a high rate of non-communicable diseases including cardiovascular disorders, cancer and diabetes.

“Mubadala’s 100 per cent acquisition of Kelix bio is a strategic investment to advance the UAE’s national life sciences capabilities,” the statement said.

The deal will foster innovation and manufacturing partnerships that will also boost pharmaceutical sector across the region, it added.

“At Mubadala, we are deeply committed to enhancing the well-being of our communities through strategic investments that address critical health care needs,” said Ismail Abdulla, head of UAE Clusters at Mubadala’s UAE Investments Platform.

Mubadala, which invests on behalf of the Abu Dhabi government, is at the heart of the emirate’s efforts to diversify its revenue base and generate income from sources other than oil. Its interests span six continents and includes the aerospace, semiconductors, metals and mining, renewable energy, oil and gas, and petrochemicals sectors.

In recent years, it has pivoted to life sciences and pharmaceutical investments and has also expanded its healthcare portfolio at a fast rate.

Last year, Mubadala and artificial intelligence company G42 launched M42, a “tech-enabled” healthcare company designed to advance medical research and capabilities in the UAE capital.

M42 is formed through the a merger between the healthcare units of Mubadala and G42 that was first announced in October 2022.

The company has a broad portfolio of assets including Amana Healthcare, Biogenix Labs, Danat Al Emarat, HealthPoint Hospital, the HealthPlus network of speciality centres, Moorfields Eye Hospital Abu Dhabi, Imperial College London Diabetes Centre, Insights Research Organisation & Solutions, the Omics Centre of Excellence and the National Reference Laboratory.

In January last year, Mubadala and technology-focused manufacturing company National Resilience signed a deal to establish a new biopharma manufacturing facility in the UAE.

With assets worth Dh1.01 trillion ($276 billion), Mubadala aims to increase its investments across continents, especially in Asia, as well as in the domestic market to boost economic activity.

Last year, Mubadala was ranked among the top 10 most active deal makers among global sovereign wealth funds, along with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and ADQ, a Global SWF report found.

Updated: March 25, 2024, 1:37 PM