Gypto Pharma City will start by producing Covid-19-related medication and treatments for chronic illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension and heart disease.
On April 1, Egypt opened Gypto Pharma City—a brand new industrial zone dedicated to the health sector. Spread over 180,000 square meters located 30 kilometers north of Cairo, it is one of the biggest drug production facilities in the Middle East, with 160 production lines that can manufacture 150 different types of medication and a total quantity of over 150 million packages a year, according to the government. This project is a state initiative aimed at reducing the country’s import bill and seek self-sufficiency in health care.
“We must have the ability to produce medicine at the highest levels,” said Egyptian President Abdel Fatah el-Sisi during the opening ceremony.
Gypto Pharma City will start by producing Covid-19-related medication and treatments for chronic illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension and heart disease. It is expected to mature to produce drugs that require higher levels of technology such as cancer treatments and hormones, which to date have been mostly imported.
The facility will be “the state’s arm in healthcare” guaranteeing “safe, efficient and affordable medicine for the Egyptian citizen” reads a press statement. Yet it is meant to complement, rather than replace, the domestic private-sector pharma industry.
“The Egyptian pharmaceutical industry is robust,” says Seif Yashar Helmy, International Affairs director at Egypt’s Pharco Corp. “Egypt is one of the only countries in the world where local players have over 50% market share, and that is because they are able to manufacture good-quality products at a low cost and be more affordable to the customer than multinationals.”
The new facilities are projected to reinforce Egypt’s leadership standing and bolster trade. “There is room to increase our exports, especially towards sub-Saharan Africa,” says Helmy, who exports to the Middle East, Africa and Central Asia. “In the early 2000’s we were facing strong competition from Asian, and especially Chinese, companies, but now African customers are looking for better quality, so there is an opportunity for Egyptian manufacturers.”
Gypto Pharma will also be seeking European accreditations to be able to export to Western countries.