Mubadala acquires KELIX bio to develop UAE’s life science ecosystem

By Arya M Nair, Official Reporter
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Mubadala acquires KELIX bio
Rep.Image | Courtesy: Martin Lopez/Pexels

Mubadala Investment Company PJSC (Mubadala), an Abu Dhabi sovereign investor, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire KELIX bio, a specialty pharmaceutical business focused on delivering complex generics across emerging markets.

The acquisition further strengthens the development of the UAE’s life science ecosystem, positions the UAE as a global leader in the life sciences sector and to support the diversification of the economy in the UAE.

KELIX bio was incepted in November 2020, and has since, acquired manufacturing businesses in India, Egypt, Malta and Morocco successfully commercializing a broad range of both oral and injectable formulations covering diverse therapy areas including diabetes, oncology, cardiology, and central nervous systems.

The acquisition is set to boost the UAE’s global standing in life sciences. With KELIX bio specializing in relevant therapy areas and a leadership team experienced in successful buy-and-build strategies globally, the move aligns with Mubadala’s goal to position the UAE prominently in the global life sciences sector.

Bakheet Al Katheeri_Mubadala acquires KELIX bio
Dr. Bakheet Al Katheeri
CEO – UAE Investments Platform,

“In line with our role as a responsible investor, today’s acquisition is a testament to the role Mubadala continues to play in accelerating the nation’s economic diversification through our portfolio companies and national champions. This partnership marks a key milestone in further advancing Mubadala’s position in the life sciences sector, to deliver important long-term socio-economic returns for our nation including improved healthcare, drug security, job creation and GDP impact.”

Ismail Ali Abdulla, Head of UAE Clusters, at Mubadala’s UAE Investments Platform said that, “At Mubadala, we are deeply committed to enhancing the well-being of our communities through strategic investments that address critical healthcare needs. By amplifying our domestic capabilities in producing essential medications via Kelix bio, our goal is to significantly empower the UAE’s healthcare infrastructure, ensuring wider access to life-saving treatments for all citizens. This investment is a testament to our dedication as a responsible investor, emphasizing our commitment to investing in solutions that address the world’s most pressing challenges.”

Hocine Sidi-Said, co-founder, and Chief Executive Officer at KELIX bio commented that, “We are immensely grateful to our previous shareholders for their faith in our vision and for supporting a fast-paced acquisition program since inception. With Mubadala’s acquisition of KELIX bio, we embark on an exciting journey that promises to deliver not only economic returns but also cause a durable societal impact in the United Arab Emirates. We are excited to augment the manufacturing capabilities of the nation and drive an innovation agenda in diabetes, oncology, and biologics to name a few.”

The UAE has historically witnessed a high incidence of non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular disorders, cancer, and diabetes. Yet the nation relies on pharmaceutical imports to meet the needs of patients and healthcare professionals alike. Mubadala’s 100 percent acquisition of KELIX bio is a strategic investment to advance the UAE’s national life sciences capabilities by fostering innovation and manufacturing partnerships that will further enhance pharmaceutical capabilities regionally.

The agreements build on Mubadala’s efforts to establish an Abu Dhabi-based national pharma champion, which will enhance the UAE’s pharma infrastructure, address the nation’s most prevalent diseases, reduce healthcare expenditure, strengthen the UAE’s drug security and set another milestone towards a resilient, knowledge-based economy.

Prior to Mubadala’s acquisition, KELIX bio was held by a consortium of investors including Development Partners International (DPI), British International Investment (BII), the UK’s development finance institution and impact investor, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

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