Julphar in deal to produce Chinese H1N1 vaccine
Dubai, September 18, 2009
United Arab Emirates firm Gulf Pharmaceutical Industries (Julphar) said it had acquired exclusive rights to manufacture an H1N1 vaccine from China's Hualan Biological.
A statement on UAE state news agency Wam said Julphar, a firm based in Ras Al-Khaimah, would seek to sell and market the single shot vaccine, which has been approved by Chinese health authorities, around the Middle East and North Africa.
Pharmaceutical firms are in a race worldwide to produce vaccines against H1N1 before the northern hemisphere winter, when experts warn the flu virus could spread more widely.
Hualan's deal with Julphar is a sign of competition heating up in the Arab region.
Saudi drugmaker Tabuk Pharmaceuticals entered an agreement earlier this month to produce and sell vaccine by Canadian firm Medicago in the Middle East and North Africa.
Sixty-four people have died so far in the Arabian Peninsula, including 26 in Saudi Arabia -- which will receive up to two million Muslim pilgrims from around the world in November for the Haj pilgrimage at Makkah. - Reuters