Sanofi will produce generics of 6 drugs in Dubai

Sanofi ($SNY), which bought controlling interest in Dubai's Globalpharma in June, will kick off production there with generics of 6 of its drugs.

Sanofi is leading an investor group that has acquired a 66% share in the Dubai-based Globalpharma from Dubai Investments. Sanofi is now managing the facility.

The Globalpharma plant already makes a variety of products including antibiotics and pain and cardiovascular drugs, but will add Sanofi treatments for gastrointestinal diseases, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, according to Gulf Today, which said the announcement was made during a press conference this week. Production of the products, which were not identified, is expected to begin next year, Gulf Today reports, because approval of the drugs by Dubai's regulator will take 12 to 18 months.

Western drugmakers have targeted the Middle East and Persian Gulf in the last few years since those markets are expected to grow faster than the global average. Some companies are building their own plants, while others have turned to local partners already known in the market.

Among other projects, Pfizer ($PFE) is building a plant in Saudi Arabia that is slated to come online in 2015. It will manufacture a number of the company's drugs. Merck KGaA's Serono division has a partnership with Neopharma, a domestic drugmaker in the United Arab Emirates, to manufacture the standard diabetes treatment metformin there.

- here's the Gulf Today story