Saudi Arabia continues to beckon Big Pharma

Pfizer ($PFE) has become the latest Big Pharma to reveal plans to build a manufacturing facility in Saudi Arabia. Plans call for manufacturing and packaging within one complex, reports Pharma Times. Production is expected to begin in 2015 with as many as 200 workers occupying the 65,000-square-meter plant.

Saudi Arabia has appealed to other Big Pharmas, too. Almost a year ago, A Swiss-Saudi partnership yielded a vaccine plant in the holy city of Mecca. Novartis ($NVS) provided vaccine manufacturing know-how to the Arab Company for Pharmaceutical Products (Arabio), which owns the plant.

In mid-2010, Sanofi ($SNY) said it would build a plant in Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah Economic City to produce diabetes and cardiovascular drugs.

Meanwhile, the Saudis are building their own pharma presence. Shamla Pharmaceutical Industries, announced in February, is a partnership of three pharma companies from Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Syria.

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