Biocon to set up joint venture in Dubai
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Biocon to set up joint venture in Dubai

Tuesday, 31 July 2007, 07:00 Hrs
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Bangalore: Biocon, India's leading biotechnology firm, has entered into an agreement with Neopharma, a leading Abu Dhabi-based pharma company owned by an Indian, to set up a joint venture (JV) in Dubai's biotech and research park - Dubaitech.

The new venture, christened Neobiocon, will manufacture and market bio-therapeutics in the Gulf region and fulfil the vision of the UAE's former president, late Sheikh Zayed Al Nahyan, to provide "health for all" at affordable price, according to a company statement here Monday.

It will provide affordable life-saving drugs for treating cancer, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, cardiac diseases and obesity. It will also produce immuno-suppressant drugs to meet local needs.

"Neobiocon will educate the UAE people on the debilitating effects of lifestyle diseases through campaigns and physician workshops. The dual approach will benefit the local population," the statement said.

The Dubaitech provides infrastructure, including facilities for research and development (R&D), pilot production and storage facilities for local and overseas firms in diverse sectors. It also helps bridge research, education and industry through national and international collaborations.

"Neobiocon will enable us to bring our proprietary biotech and biopharma products to the people of the region. Our long-term vision is to ensure the UAE becomes self-sufficient in biopharmaceutical products," Biocon chairperson Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw said in Dubai on the occasion of signing the agreement with Neopharma CEO B.R. Shetty.

But the partners did not disclose the investment plans of the joint venture.

Shetty said Neobiocon would introduce world-class pharma biotech products to the Emirates. "Biotherapeutics for cardiovascular diabetes and oncology segments represent the fastest growing class of drugs in the $5 billion GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) pharmaceutical market," he pointed out.

"We will offer products that cater to lifestyle disorders and oncology. We will also produce immuno-suppressant drugs," affirmed Shetty, a non-resident Indian.

Studies have shown high mortality rates due to diabetes and cardiovascular disorders in the Gulf region. Disease incidence is alarmingly high. Besides India and sub-Saharan Africa, countries in the Gulf and West Asia are prone to such life-threatening diseases due to changing lifestyle and occupational hazards.

"Obesity is also a common, serious and growing problem. Current epidemiological estimates suggest around 1.1 billion people worldwide are above their standard weight. Developing obesity treatments that target novel pathways is a focus for biopharma firms," Shaw noted.

Besides the UAE, the Dubai office will represent the company in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and Oman.

During the last three years, Neopharma introduced about 70 formulations, including antibiotics, painkillers, anti-allergics and drugs in cardiology and diabetology segments.

Ranked among the top 15 UAE firms, Neopharma is a recipient of the prestigious Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum award in the manufacturing category. It also has the latest European Union good manufacturing practice certificate from Belgium.

Neopharma plans to foray into European markets and work on nanotechnology-based products. Its facility is recognised as a regional contract manufacturing hub for European and Canadian firms.
Source: IANS
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