Neopharma plans $100m plus drug plant in Abu Dhabi

If it goes ahead, this would be BR Shetty owned company’s second in the emirate

The Dr. B.R. Shetty-owned Neopharma has confirmed feasibility plans for a second production facility in Abu Dhabi, at an estimated cost of $100 million plus. Additional land has been acquired at the Kizad industrial zone in the emirate, raising the total to 160,000 square metres for both facilities. (Shetty owns a 90 per cent stake in Neopharma.)

It follows Neopharma’s recent acquisition of a pharma factory in Japan, as well as the technical know-how to produce the “NatuALA” pre-diabetes dietary supplement. The company is currently in the midst of clinical trials in the US to get NatuALA approved for the management of Type 2 diabetes.

Neopharma plans $100m plus drug plant in Abu Dhabi

Neopharma plans $100m plus drug plant in Abu Dhabi

The health care sector in the UAE has seen a robust deal flow in recent years, with the big operators going in for big-ticket acquisitions to raise hospital bed capacities as well as bring about consolidation among clinics and primary health care providers.

But Neopharma’s push into value-added drugs — and not just of the generic variety — brings about a qualitative change on the pharmaceutical side of the local health care industry. The company is also working on a possible generic drug production facility in Saudi Arabia. Neopharma was set up in 2003.

But it is the know-how from the Japanese acquisition that will come most handy. Once an approval is forthcoming, the NatuALA drug will have extreme potential not just in the US but elsewhere as well, said Shetty. (The company is also pushing the drug’s diagnostic and therapeutic credentials in oncology.) “The “fermentation” technology the Japanese plant uses is a gamechanger and we would like to capitalise on this opportunity,” said Shetty, who is also the founder of NMC Health and currently its joint Non-executive Chairman. “Sure, Neopharma at its launch was primarily manufacturing generic/bulk drugs, but I am now seeing possibilities to do much more.

“We had an offer from Japan’s Cosmo Oil Co. (which owned the pharma company Cosmo ALA) to take over the plant in Japan. We agreed as it was an ideal project with the fermentation technology that we were looking for.”

While Neopharma now owns 100 per cent owner of the plant, it’s Japan exposure also extends to a 65 per cent in Cosmo ALA (now renamed Neo ALA).

The plant was bought for Dh100 million, while Dh265 million was spent on the acquisition of patents and licenses. An additional Dh515 million will go into clinical studies.

Much depends on how quickly the product — NatuALA — is able to make the transition from being an over-the-counter dietary supplement to a full-fledged drug. For this, the US Federal Drug Administration (FDA) needs to give its approval, and thereafter it is just a matter of time before other health authorities do the same.

Approximately one million people in the UAE suffer diabetes and nearly 450,000 are estimated to be undiagnosed cases.

“I don’t think I paid a high premium for the Japanese know-how and manufacturing assets,” said Shetty. “Diabetes, heart-related and cancer are killer diseases and close to 40 per cent in the UAE are diabetic and the numbers are rising.

“NMC Health PLC is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is one of the UAE’s largest private health care providers with over 4 million treated every year. We are proud to be the only company to be so successful on the FTSE 250. It is now trading at 24 (21.86 as of June 30), which is almost a 12-time multiple for investors.

“I currently own 90 per cent in Neopharma and believe that Neopharma will chart an even better strategic route. Neopharma has already started making profits and we want to grow the company further before we decide to get listed. Right now, the year 2020 is the target for getting listed on FTSE.”

Neopharma in major investment

UAE pharmaceutical manufacturing frim Neopharma has in vested Dh100 million in the acquisition of patents and licences and an aditional investment in clinical studies amounting to DH515 million. The Factory in Japan will manufacture supplements for patients in the pre-diabetic stage and also Type-II diabetic patients.

UAE-based pharma invests Dhs880 million

DUBAI: Neopharma, one of UAE’s leading pharmaceutical manufacturing company has invested a total of Dhs100 million in a state-of-the-art Japanese factory, Dhs265 million in the acquisition of patents and licences and an additional investment in clinical studies amounting to Dhs515 million. The factory in Japan will manufacture supplements for patients in the pre-diabetic stage and also Type II diabetic patients.

Neopharma Japan has acquired a 65 per cent stake in the Japanese pharmaceutical company, Cosmo ALA (now known as Neo ALA), to manufacture this dietary supplement. The product NatuALA is a breakthrough in the management of Type 2 diabetes. As per reports, approximately over one million people in the UAE have diabetes and nearly 450,000 are estimated to be undiagnosed cases.

Neopharma announced its plans in the presence of Assistant Undersecretary of Public Health Policy and Licensing – Dr. Amin Al Amiri, Japanese Ambassador to the UAE, Kanji Fujiki, Prof. Tohru Tanaka, Prof. Naohide Yamashita among other senior officials. The launch event focused on the history and development of 5-ALA and its application in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.

“Obesity is a growing concern in many nations in the Middle East as approximately a third of adults are now obese and diabetes and other weight-related diseases are becoming serious public health issues. The diabetes epidemic is largely focused on massively increased rates of obesity in the region. Obesity when left unchallenged, leads to pre-diabetes or metabolic syndrome. Either of these conditions, if not swiftly acted against, can lead to the development of full-blown Type 2 diabetes. The diabetes epidemic occurs at different rates throughout the world, with the condition changing in some countries from a minor to a fundamental problem in a matter of years,” commented Dr. B.R. Shetty, Chairman & Managing Director, Neopharma.

World Health Organisation (WHO) predicts that diabetes will become the seventh major cause of death around the world by 2030. Furthermore, according to WHO, nearly 422 million people are diabetic worldwide. This figure is expected to spiral to 642 million by 2040. In the region, 35.4 million suffer from diabetes and by 2040, the number is estimated to surge to 72.1 million.

Neopharma’s factory in Japan has started the production to meet the ever-growing needs of the Type 2 diabetes patients in the GCC region and across the globe. Neopharma will be distributing the product worldwide. Clinical studies for NatuALA is being conducted across USA, Japan, UK and Bahrain.

The supplement decreases glucose levels by insulin-independent method and keeps fasting glucose levels under check. The product has 60 patents over 35 countries worldwide. Easily scalable fermentation process is used to develop this dietary supplementary product.

5-ALA is an amino acid created in mitochondria, known as the powerhouse of the cell. It is an important substance that serves as a functional molecule related to energy production, and its productivity is known to decrease with age. It is also known as a material forming chloroplasts in plants.

UAE based Neopharma invests $240million

This includes an investment of AED100 million in a state-of-the-art Japanese factory, AED 265 million in the acquisition of patents and licenses and an additional investment of AED515 million in clinical studies for manufacturing supplements to support patients in the pre-diabetic stage and also Type 2 diabetic patients.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates – Neopharma, one of UAE’s leading pharmaceutical manufacturing company has invested a total of AED100 million in a state-of-the-art Japanese factory, AED265 million in the acquisition of patents and licenses and an additional investment in clinical studies amounting to AED515 million. The factory in Japan will manufacture supplements for patients in the pre-diabetic stage and also Type II diabetic patients.

Neopharma Japan has acquired a 65% stake in the Japanese pharmaceutical company, Cosmo ALA (now known as Neo ALA), to manufacture this dietary supplement. The product NatuALA is a breakthrough in the management of Type 2 diabetes. As per reports, approximately over one million people in the UAE have diabetes and nearly 450,000 are estimated to be undiagnosed cases.

Neopharma announced its plans in the presence of Assistant Undersecretary of Public Health Policy and Licensing – H.E. Dr. Amin Al Amiri, Japanese Ambassador to the UAE, H.E. Mr. Kanji Fujiki, Prof. Tohru Tanaka, Prof. Naohide Yamashita among other senior officials. The launch event focused on the history and development of 5-ALA and its application in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.
“Obesity is a growing concern in many nations in the Middle East as approximately a third of adults are now obese and diabetes and other weight-related diseases are becoming serious public health issues. The diabetes epidemic is largely focused on massively increased rates of obesity in the region. Obesity when left unchallenged, leads to pre-diabetes or metabolic syndrome. Either of these conditions, if not swiftly acted against, can lead to the development of full-blown Type 2 diabetes. The diabetes epidemic occurs at different rates throughout the world, with the condition changing in some countries from a minor to a fundamental problem in a matter of years,” commented Dr. B.R. Shetty, Chairman & Managing Director, Neopharma.
World Health Organisation (WHO) predicts that diabetes will become the seventh major cause of death around the world by 2030. Furthermore, according to WHO, nearly 422 million people are diabetic worldwide. This figure is expected to spiral to 642 million by 2040. In the region, 35.4 million suffer from diabetes and by 2040, the number is estimated to surge to 72.1 million.
Neopharma’s factory in Japan has started the production to meet the ever-growing needs of the Type 2 diabetes patients in the GCC region and across the globe. Neopharma will be distributing the product worldwide. Clinical studies for NatuALA is being conducted across USA, Japan, UK and Bahrain.

The supplement decreases glucose levels by insulin-independent method and keeps fasting glucose levels under check. The product has 60 patents over 35 countries worldwide. Easily scalable fermentation process is used to develop this dietary supplementary product.

5-ALA is an amino acid created in mitochondria, known as the powerhouse of the cell. It is an important substance that serves as a functional molecule related to energy production, and its productivity is known to decrease with age. It is also known as a material forming chloroplasts in plants.

“Medical technology now enables more accurate diagnosis for better monitoring, prevention and management of illnesses, many of them deemed life-threatening or incapacitating earlier. Innovations in this pre-diabetes arena will help people live healthier, longer and more active lives,” concluded Dr. B.R. Shetty.

5-ALA has also great potential in the oncology. It could be used for diagnosis, prophylaxis, and as therapeutic. Neopharma is working on research and technology transfer which will be conducted in partnership with Japanese counterpart.

NMC Health PLC listed in London Stock Exchange, is UAE’s largest private healthcare provider, where over 4 million patients are treated every year. As a backward integration, Neopharma was established in 2003 to manufacture and market pharmaceuticals; such as, Neopharma brand generics of anti-infectives, analgesics, antipyretics and anti-inflammatory drugs, drugs for diabetes, cardiovascular drugs, respiratory medicines, drugs related to central nervous system, gastrointestinal drugs, vitamins among several other therapeutic drugs.

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