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$12b ME Pharmaceutical Market

The Middle East's approach towards becoming self-sufficient in pharmaceutical production will be under the spotlight this week at the region's most comprehensive pharmaceutical and biotechnology exhibition which opens today in Dubai .

The combined pharmaceutical markets of the Arabian Gulf, North Africa, Levant and Iran is estimated to be valued at over $12 billion and growing at an annual rate of 10 per cent, say the organisers of the Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Middle East (PABME) exhibition and conference until April 29, 2008 at the Dubai International Exhibition Centre

"With huge investment from both the private and public sector, the Middle East wants to be not only self sufficient in pharmaceutical production but to also have a larger share of export, research and contract manufacturing," said Simon Page, Group Director of Life Sciences for organisers IIR Middle East.

"These initiatives are being fuelled by the development of free zones offering 100 per cent ownership and a host of other benefits. Already in the Middle East there are estimated to be over 450 pharmaceutical manufacturers ? a figure that is growing dramatically year on year."

The world market for biotechnological drugs is thriving. Current global market value stands at $460 billion, growing at a rate of 18 per cent per year. It is estimated that by 2009, the industry will surge to $625 billion.

"In the Middle East, the total value of the market is currently estimated to be in excess of $10 billion and is registering growth rates of 15-18 per cent," said Page. "There is set to be a huge boom in the biotechnology industry in the region, once again through private and public investment."

For example, a major biotechnology initiative for the region is Dubiotech, a 30 million square feet research park and the region's first dedicated life sciences hub. Dubiotech is a leading sponsor of PABME 2008 which is supported by the Ministry of Health of the United Arab Emirates. Top decision makers from over 80 countries have registered to visit the show with joint ventures, technology transfers and representation contracts expected to result.

More than 100 companies from over 25 countries in the Middle East, Asia, Europe, the Americas, Africa and Australasia will be exhibiting at PABME. Among them are the Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation, at the forefront of the industry; CinnaGen, regional pioneers in molecular biology and biotech; Fabtech Technologies, a world leader in clean room systems; Sartorious Stedim, one of the world's biggest biotech companies; NNE Pharmaplan, a major global player; Clinart International, pioneering drug development and research for clinical trials in the Middle East; NIGEB, a leading biotech research institute in Iran; BD an industry world leader; LifeLine Hospital/Emcure Pharmaceuticals, one of the top Indian pharmaceutical corporates; and Gemu, a world leader in diaphragm valves.

Alongside the exhibition are five major high level conferences aimed at professional delegates. They include Current Affairs in Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology (April 27-29) which will be examining ethical, religious and cultural issues as well as in-vitro fertilisation and trends in oncology pharmacy. There will also be a Regulatory Workshop on Developing Practical Skills (April 27); Facilities Design, Upgrade and Expansion (April 28 - 29); Pharma and Biotech Opportunities in Emerging Markets (April 27 - 28); and the Clinical Trial Congress (April, 27 - 28). via Khaleej Times

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