Pfizer on lookout for Middle East deals

Pfizer sees big growth in the Middle East. The region "is becoming one of our key emerging markets," Pfizer's emerging markets chief Jean-Michel Halfon told Bloomberg. "this is a market where we should see double-digit growth and where Pfizer should be able to exceed $1 billion in sales." This year, Pfizer's Middle East sales are forecast at about $500 millon, with 8 percent to 10 percent annual growth after that.

To that end, the company is looking for acquisitions "in the more established markets such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Gulf," said Guy Lallemand, Pfizer's regional president said. The company is also looking to grow in Iraq, Iran and Syria.

What makes the region so attractive to Pfizer? Lallemand told Bloomberg that the Persian Gulf region has three things going strong: respect for patents, openness to clinical trials and rapid regulatory review of new products. Sounds like the legal-and-regulatory framework is pharma-friendly there. Will there be a "gold rush" to the region?

- see the Bloomberg piece

ALSO: In Dubai over the weekend, Pfizer execs gathered to explore ways to promote more women to leadership roles in developing nations; some 250 Pfizer employees from 70 nations turned out for the discussion. Report