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DPI, CDC and EBRD launch $750m biopharma platform

Anna Lyudvig
Nov. 17, 2020, 4:46 p.m.

Word count: 580

Development Partners International (DPI) through its ADP III fund, CDC Group, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) have joined forces to create a a new pan-African biopharmaceutical platform.

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Development Partners International (DPI) through its ADP III fund, CDC Group, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) have joined forces to create a a new pan-African biopharmaceutical platform.

The platform will execute a buy and build strategy to improve the availability and affordability of essential pharmaceuticals across Africa.

Abhinav Sinha, Director & Head of Manufacturing at CDC, said: “The African pharmaceutical industry remains chronically underdeveloped, with over 80% of prescription and over-the-counter drugs imported from outside of Africa. This platform is being built from the ground up to specifically address the challenges facing African healthcare providers and improving health security. It will make a significant impact by providing affordable vital life-saving treatments and increasing the range and quality of products available, while aiming to reduce the incidences of counterfeit products in the market.”

Platform has received an initial $250m in capital from its founding investors and plans to raise up to an additional $500m to execute on its industrial strategy and fund further acquisitions across Africa.

The initial capital has been used to fund the acquisition and combination of Adwia Pharmaceuticals, an Egyptian generic drugs manufacturer, and Celon Laboratories, an Indian oncology and critical care specialist.

The platform will leverage its manufacturing and R&D centre of excellence in India to strengthen its local manufacturing operations in Africa, while capturing synergies from centralised supply chain management and business development. 

This first of its kind Pan-African platform is designed to compete in large, fast-growing markets as well as high-demand, differentiated therapeutic areas such as oncology through innovation and cost leadership.

The newly created platform will improve the delivery of essential and affordable specialty generic pharmaceuticals across the African continent.

The platform is co-founded by the executive management team comprising Hocine Sidi-Said, CEO and Alhadi Alwazir, Chief Strategy Officer and Head of Corporate Development, who together bring decades of emerging market pharma experience, private equity transaction experience and a strong buy and build track record. 

Sofiane Lahmar, Partner at DPI, said: “For a number of years DPI has explored the establishment of a new pan-African pharma platform that can transform this significantly underserved and underpenetrated industry.”

“We are thrilled to have brought together the consortium of DPI, CDC and EBRD, with the leadership of Hocine, Alhadi and their team, to achieve that vision. By creating this unique platform, we will deliver substantial, tangible impact by increasing the availability and affordability of quality drugs and by developing local production and reducing reliance on imported drugs across Africa.  The platform will also offer a defensive, differentiated, and attractive opportunity for investors driven by the continued strong growth of the African generic pharma industry and its defensive and resilient nature demonstrated during the global COVID-19 crisis.”  

Hocine Sidi-Said, CEO of the platform, added: “The creation of this new biopharmaceutical platform will fundamentally change the way specialty medicines are made available across Africa. It will also look to invest in broad-based and high-growth specialty generics assets across Africa, in high-demand areas such as oncology, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, respiratory issues, and critical care. I am pleased that our vision has attracted and will continue to attract strong investor interest.”

“We look forward to working with our three founding investors and with future investors to successfully fulfil our promise of affordable specialty products in jurisdictions historically deprived from access to such medications."

Legal advisors on the transactions were Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (International Counsel), Matouk Bassiouny & Hennawy (Egypt), and Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co (India)


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