Hikma makes inroads into Egyptian pharma market

By Katrina Megget

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Pharmacology

UK Hikma Pharmaceuticals has acquired Egyptian pharmaceutical
company Alkan Pharma in a deal worth $60.5m (€44.2m), and
establishes the London-based company in the Egyptian market.

The acquisition would see Hikma taking on all of Alkan's 175 registered pharmaceutical products, including nearly 60 products under license from leading multinational pharmaceutical companies, as well as 140 products pending registration.

Despite continuing to grow the pre-established Alkan franchise, the move dramatically boosts Hikma's presence in Egypt, which has been limited up till now because of government restrictions.

Hikma is one of the top pharmaceutical companies established in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) market, but has had a limited presence in the more than $2.2bn Egyptian pharma market because the Egyptian Government favours local manufacturers.

"It's hard to get products registered there.

So we had to buy local facilities," Hikma investor relations director Susan Ringdal told in-PharmaTechnologist.com.

"With this platform, we should be able to register more of our products and sell into the Egyptian market."

The company currently sells the licensed product Prograf (tacrolimus) in Egypt, which is an immunosuppressive drug indicated for prophylaxis of organ rejection in patients receiving allogeneic liver, kidney or heart transplants.

Ringdal said the company had no plans to cease the manufacturing of any of Alkan's products and there were no plans to make changes to the more than 500-strong work force.

The purchase would see Hikma acquiring Alkan's 8,000sq m. site, which includes a production plant, an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) facility, warehouses and administration offices.

Alkan operates exclusively in Egypt and develops, manufactures and markets generic pharmaceuticals in both solid and liquid form.

The company's product portfolio includes: 29 per cent alimentary; 16 per cent musculoskeletal; 12 per cent anti-infectives; 11 per cent cough and colds; and 32 per cent other.

Hikma chief executive Said Darwazah said in a statement: "Alkan's local manufacturing capabilities, strong product portfolio and registration pipeline, together with its significant sales force, provides Hikma with an excellent platform from which to access the large and growing Egyptian market.

"Alkan offers a strong commercial and distribution platform from which to introduce Hikma's branded generics into the Egyptian market and adds a broad product portfolio and pipeline that can be leveraged into Hikma's existing markets."

The acquisition is scheduled to be completed in the second half of this year, subject to meeting certain regulatory requirements.

The acquisition will be funded entirely by debt.

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