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60 years of experience in pharma and the future of innovative and affordable biotechnology products discussed with the Guardian

Egypt Resilient and Open: Healthy Options

With 50 years’ experience and regional leadership in the pharmaceutical industry, MINAPHARM is constantly striving to provide innovative quality medicines and services to patients in developing countries, so that they too can benefit from the latest advances in pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical research technologies. To achieve its mission and strategic goals, MINAPHARM exploits a robust research and development platform combined with strategic multi-alliances, involving industry players at the forefront of the latest pharmaceutical technologies, marketing and management techniques. This has further enabled the establishment of specialised lines, embracing innovative and affordable products and services in the fields of gastroenterology, cardiology, ophthalmology, orthopaedics, and uro-gynaecology.

Dr Wafik Bardissi, MINAPHARM’s chairman, explains how he is trying to strike a balance between innovative and affordable medicines with the help of the multinationals. “Most of the players are multinational companies who choose certain products of interest to launch in relation to market needs. This is primarily driven by the demands of 90 million people. We have the consolidation of the history of the industry of

pharmaceutical production, and the know-how. If you put that together with “the benefit of a large demand from the population and all the geopolitical demographic issues, as well as what is already available and the consolidated knowhow we already have, we have a platform that can go into Africa and the rest of the world. Our business model is also looking into Europe.”

“Our wholly owned Berlin-based German subsidiary, ProBioGen AG, is a renowned Contract Development and Manufacturing Organisation (CDMO) and technology provider. ProBioGen AG has extensive expertise in cell line engineering, process development (upstream and downstream processes) and GMP. Innovative scientific excellence, coupled with a strong intellectual property base, allows ProBioGen AG to cover the entire drug development value chain, including regulatory support for IND-filing. All services and technologies are embedded within a total quality management system, to assure compliance with international ISO and GMP standards (EMA/FDA). At the Cairo-based Rhein-Minapharm, a group of young talented Egyptian scientists represents the first research community in the Middle East region to develop new processes for the production of genetically engineered drugs”.

MINAPHARM ranks among the leading pharmaceutical companies in Egypt and the Middle East, maintaining one of the broadest quality-products portfolio within the industry. Its longstanding expertise covers a broad spectrum of medicines, ranging from small molecules to extremely complex bioengineered proteins. We are leading a transition towards high-value biologicals in our developing markets, while expanding a robust small-molecule setup in a business model that is a far departure from existing regional models. In addition to production of life-saving and life-enhancing medicines, MINAPHARM is adopting an international operation platform for biotechnology and cellular engineering. Novel scientific solutions and technologies contribute to the development of products that were unimaginable a decade ago. Scientific excellence and expertise in cellular and bioprocess engineering enable our mission to provide not only developed markets, but also emerging markets with significant economic molecules, thus crossing the next frontier. “We have had lots of interaction in the outsourcing of research projects in the UK and Scotland but not in terms of real partnership with medium-sized companies. Partnerships with multinational companies are usually project based, but partnership does not really benefit local players. Still, we have that opportunity, and we look forward to seeing that part of the industry in the UK, the middle-sized companies showing an interest in coming to Egypt, where we would give them a warm welcome.”

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