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PIF’s Lifera and Sanofi join hands to produce vaccines

Person, Human, Clinic REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
Lifera and Sanofi will collaborate to boost Saudi Arabia’s vaccines localisation strategy

A subsidiary of Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund has signed an agreement to increase the local production of vaccines.

Lifera, wholly owned by the Public Investment Fund (PIF), French pharma major Sanofi and Arabio, majority owned by Riyadh-based Tamer Group, will set up manufacturing facilities in the kingdom to produce vaccines for Saudi citizens.

No details were given on the location of the facilities or total investment. 

As part of the agreement, Lifera and Sanofi will collaborate to boost Saudi Arabia’s vaccines localisation strategy, with Lifera becoming a contract manufacturer to Sanofi.

The two entities will use Arabio to supply vaccines and other biopharmaceutical products across the local market.

The PIF last month launched Lifera to make life-saving and essential products, including insulins, vaccines and plasma therapeutics. 

The Saudi pharmaceutical industry was valued at SAR44 billion ($11.7 billion) last year, according to BMI, and is forecast to grow at an annual rate of over 5 percent to $15.1 billion in 2027 and $19.8 billion in 2032. 

Several multinational companies have already established a presence in the country, either through direct investment or partnerships with local companies, including Novartis, Pfizer, Sanofi, Merck and GlaxoSmithKline. 

Sanofi has been producing vaccines for over a century now. Every year, over half a billion people are vaccinated with Sanofi’s vaccines worldwide, including more than 10 million in the Gulf region. 

In 2022, the French pharma firm distributed more than six million doses of its quadrivalent influenza vaccine in the region. Globally through its research and development efforts, it aims to bring 10 new vaccine candidates into clinical trials by 2025.