Sanofi taps local drugmaker Minapharm to crank out popular blood thinner Clexane in Egypt

Sanofi has been in the Egyptian manufacturing game for decades, but that doesn’t mean the French pharma can’t use a helping hand from time to time.

Take for instance the company’s new deal with local drugmaker Minapharm, which grants exclusive control over manufacturing and supply of Sanofi’s popular anticoagulant Clexane, also known as enoxaparin, in Egypt.

The deal is set to boost Egypt’s national localization strategy of biopharmaceutical manufacturing, the companies said in a press release Sunday. Minapharm, for its part, also oversees subsidiaries in Cairo and Berlin, Germany.

Clexane production is set to take place in Minapharm’s second new biopharmaceutical facility in Egypt, which is designed for research, development and manufacturing of complex bioengineered proteins.

Sanofi already has an upsized presence in Egypt, where the company employs some 1,200 staffers. The company has also operated a manufacturing site in Cairo since 1962 that currently produces 120 million units of medicine each year.

Minapharm, which itself operates out of Cairo, touts its position as the “premier biopharmaceutical company in Africa.” The company commercializes over 100 drug products ranging from small molecules to complex genetically engineered proteins. Collectively, Minapharm oversees more than 2,000 employees.

Africa has been a popular destination for pharmaceutical manufacturing ventures in recent years.

In April, the World Health Organization tapped South African biotech Afrigen Biologics to help steer an agency-backed mRNA vaccine hub in Cape Town. Under the arrangement, Afrigen is using the publicly available sequence of Moderna’s COVID shot Spikevax to make its own version of the prophylactic, AfriVac 2121, at lab scale.

In June, meanwhile, China’s Fosun Pharma unveiled plans to build a facility in the Ivory Coast to crank out antimalaria drugs and antibacterial medicines with the help of a 100 million euro ($106 million) loan from the International Finance Corporation (IFC).