Barcelona, June 20th, 2017. The pharmaceutical company Uriach has signed a licensing agreement with the American pharmaceutical company Pfizer which will allow the sale of Rupatadine in in the MENA region (Middle East and North Africa). This state-of-the-art antihistamine, researched and developed by Uriach and indicated for allergic rhinitis and hives, will hit the market in the first Middle East countries within the coming year. The agreement between the companies is that Uriach will be responsible for production and Pfizer will be responsible for marketing and distribution of the product into the MENA market.
In addition to the latest licence agreements signed with other partners for Japan and Korea, this agreement between Uriach and Pfizer in the MENA region – who is already a distribution partner for Rupatadine in Spain – will mean doubling the production of the antihistamine at the Catalan company’s plants in Palau-solità i Plegamans and Sant Fost de Campsentelles in Barcelona. Uriach will invest about 2 million euro in its chemical plant in order to meet the demands of this increase in production.
The companies intend to make Rupatadine available in its two formulations in the MENA region – tablets for adults and adolescents and an oral solution for children over two years of age – subject to the receipt of the required regulatory approvals in each country. The product has already been approved in the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait, and is currently undergoing registration in Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
The antihistamine market in these countries is estimated at around 110 million euro, and has grown more than 19% over the last year. Specifically, Saudi Arabia is the biggest in the Middle East, with sales of some 44 million euros and a growth of 15% in the last year. It is followed by Egypt, with a market of 30 million euro and a growth of 18%, and UAE, with sales of 29 million euro and a recorded growth of 33%. Allergic rhinitis affects between 15 – 25% of the population depending on the country.
Rupatadine is currently available in more than 63 countries, to which the MENA region will gradually be added. Moreover, this antihistamine will be launched in two key markets – Japan and Korea – at the end of 2017.