A multimillion-dirham project to build an intravenous solutions production plant in the capital has taken a significant step forward with a deal struck between Abu Dhabi Investment House (ADIH) and an Italian pharmaceuticals group.
ADIH is the investment manager for Wellpharma Medical Solutions, which plans to build its intravenous (IV) manufacturing and distribution plant on 7,500 square metres within Abu Dhabi's industrial district and become operational by 2012.
Now ADIH has signed a partnership agreement with Bram Spa, which is among Europe's biggest medical equipment and pharmaceutical product groups.
Under the deal Bram Spa will become the project's technological partner, providing the know-how and technology to design, manufacture and supply medical equipment to Wellpharma's IV solutions production plant. Bram Spa has 40 years of industry experience in engineering, exporting pharmaceutical equipment and operating production lines.
Saud al Nusuf, the chief investment group officer of ADIH, who signed the agreement, said: "We are delighted to be partners with Bram Spa, a reputable organisation within the pharmaceutical industry.
"The plant will start with producing IV solution of top quality. Further plans in consideration are to expand into other products in the future."
The creation of Wellpharma's plant, which will have the capacity to produce 6 million litres of IV solutions each year, comes in line with Abu Dhabi's diversification strategy within its public and private sectors.
It is expected that the plant will help create jobs and address growing regional demand for pharmaceutical products.
The Sharia-compliant project, which was launched last year, is based on extensive local and regional studies and is taking advantage of the competitive prices of raw material and imports.
The GCC region is expected to face an unprecedented rise in demand for healthcare over the coming years. It is estimated that total healthcare spending in the region will reach US$60 billion (Dh220.38bn) in 2025, up from $18bn in 2008.
Expansion plans within the pharmaceutical industry are already being considered by ADIH under the Wellpharma initiative with a focus on advanced diagnostic centres, medical labs and clinics.
ADIH has plans to launch diversified product offerings within other vital industries including food production, environmentally conscious "green" building and financial services.