Sanofi has begun construction of a $95m (€70m) dry and liquid pharmaceutical plant in Sidi Abdellah, Algeria.
The facility, which will include a distribution center, will be Sanofi’s largest industrial site in Africa when it’s finished in about three years, Sanofi spokesman Laurence Bollack told In-Pharmatechnologist.com.
“Algeria is our largest affiliate in Africa and we will pursue our investments in this country to ensure that approximately 80% of the volume distributed by Sanofi in Algeria is produced locally,” Bollack said.
The new facility is expected to create 133 skilled jobs, will cover an area of 6.6 hectares in Sidi Abdellah, which is becoming a cluster of pharmaceutical and biotech companies, and is expected to have a production and distribution capacity of 100 million units a year.
The company has had operations in Algeria for more than 20 years, with two other manufacturing sites in Ain Benian and Oued.
But Sanofi’s investments in Africa aren’t just limited to Algeria. In April, the company built a $27m (€20m) logistics hub in Morocco. That hub is slated to become the largest distribution center for Sanofi’s pharmaceutical products in Africa.
At a groundbreaking ceremony for the new plant, Sanofi and the Algerian Health Minister also signed a letter of intent announcing their intention to execute, before Dec. 31, an agreement to improve the screening and assessment of cardiovascular risk, diabetes, and hyperlipidemia and the evaluation of their common risk factors in the Algerian population together with influenza monitoring.
Local Manufacturing Push?
This latest deal from Sanofi isn’t the only sign that pharma manufacturing investments are on the upswing.
The Sanofi deal follows Hikma’s recent announcement to build a manufacturing facility in Ethiopia . Hikma in 2010 also doubled its manufacturing capacity in Algeria and took full control of a JV there.
Another encouraging sign for investments is that counterfeits are dropping as the countries’ regulators become more sophisticated and supply chains become more uniform.
In addition, earlier in 2013 regional associations set up a pan-African organization to encourage local manufacturing.