Egyptian Health Minister Opens AstraZeneca’s New $32M Manufacturing Plant near Cairo

Egyptian Health Minister Dr. Hatem Mostafa El-Gabaly today opened a new $32 million tablet factory built by AstraZeneca near Cairo ? the company?s first manufacturing investment in the Middle East. David Brennan, Chief Executive Officer of AstraZeneca, also attended the opening ceremony at the factory in 6th of October City.

The new facility, which will start production early next year, is designed to manufacture products for the treatment of cardiovascular disease, cancer and psychiatric disorders. The 7,000 sq. m plant will have three production lines with a capacity of 250 million tablets but this could be expanded to produce 400 million tablets a year.

Employment at the AstraZeneca Egypt Marketing Company has more than doubled during the past two years to a total strength of 350 employees and AstraZeneca has now set up a new regional office in Cairo responsible for Middle East & Northern Africa.

?This is a new era for AstraZeneca with our first manufacturing investment in the Middle East,? said David Brennan. ?This is a strong signal of our commitment to invest in the region and our confidence in Egypt which has seen good economic progress following the new government reforms.?

Egypt fully adopted the WTO ?TRIPS? agreement protecting intellectual property rights from January 1, 2005, and AstraZeneca has identified Egypt as one of the key emerging markets for further development, together with such countries as China and Mexico, as part of the company?s regional expansion strategy.

The value of the Egyptian pharmaceutical market is $1.6 billion annually. Multi-national companies supply around 65 per cent of the market through direct local manufacturing (30 per cent) or through licensing agreements (35 per cent).

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