Within the implementation of Decree of the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev “On the creation of an innovative scientific and production pharmaceutical cluster” dated January 28, 2020, an agreement was reached with Economic Development Cooperation Fund of the South Korean Eximbank to finance scientific and educational structures with a long-term loan amounting 136 million dollars.
On April 17, construction of the Tashkent Pharma Park innovative scientific and production pharmaceutical cluster kicked-off in Zangiata district, Tashkent region. It has become the first significant step in combining powers, services, resources and skills in the area.
During the videoconference held on this occasion, President of Uzbekistan got acquainted with the plans and work on project’s implementation comprising innovative and high-quality indicators.
In the near future Tashkent Pharma Park will have an effective infrastructure to produce innovative medicines, medical products equipment, the training of modern personnel and the further development of the scientific potential of the pharmaceutical industry.
To this end, around 80 hectares of land have been allocated in the Zangiata district. Thus, the implementation of 14 investment projects totaling 276 million dollars will lead to the establishment of Central Asia’s only modern pharmaceutical cluster employing more than 1,700 people. The cluster will consist of a technological park (30 hectares) and an industrial zone (49 hectares).
The technological park will house sectors of academic, scientific activity and medicines development. Plans include in particular the creation of Pharmaceutical Technical University.
“The university will train highly qualified personnel based on international educational standards in the field of medicine, medical equipment and technology, cosmetology, industry and business management,” says Aziz Dustmatov, the head of department at the Agency on Development of the Pharmaceutical Industry under the Ministry of Health. “In particular, specialists in the field of biotechnology and microbiology will build capacity in accordance with international and high scientific requirements. Innovative and effective educational programs aimed at improving the system will be implemented with partners from South Korea and the UK. Thus, the necessary conditions will be created for the integration of pharmaceutical education, science and industry.”
Until recent years, a semi-synthetic and synthetic approach has been applied in creation new types of medicines. This method of obtaining biologically active substances, however, is outdated. Over the past 10 years in this way only 4-5 new molecules were obtained which proves its exhaustion. Currently, biotechnological approaches are widely used to develop the medicine as an area. Research centers and laboratories that will be created in the cluster will focus on the search of new medicines and their production.
The new educational institution will lay the foundation for basic and applied research in the field of drug development, medical devices and equipment for the pharmaceutical, biotechnological, biopharmaceutical and pharmaceutical industries.
“Uzbekistan has extensive experience and practice in the area of medicine production,” says Sardor Koriev, the director of Agency on Development of the Pharmaceutical Industry. “An absence of clinical testing and industrial production of new products, however, hindered the full implementation of scientific research. For instance, there are no vaccine production lines in the country. The creation of the cluster, in particular, as a specialized educational institution and laboratory, will play an important role in training specialists, modern standardization, quality control and medicine production.”
In the industrial zone, capacities will be built for the production of innovative drugs by leading pharmaceutical companies. Production will include drugs against oncological and cardiovascular diseases as well as the development of a novel coronavirus vaccine.
Particularly, 5 investment projects worth 80 million dollars began the production of innovative medicines, medical devices and equipment. Partners include World Medicine (Turkey), Union Korea Pharm (South Korea), Farmak (Ukraine), Ego Zlín and ProSpon (Czech Republic).
“Foreign direct investments are attracted to implement these five investment projects,” says Dilshod Akbarov, head of the department of the Agency on Development of the Pharmaceutical Industry. “Within their framework, the production of medicines, medical devices and equipment used in the treatment of gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, oncological, cardiological and endocrinological diseases, as well as products for traumatology, will be launched.”
Notably, foreign investors involved in these projects are among the world leaders in this field. In particular, World Medicine exports its products to 35 countries and has an annual turnover of 500 million euros. The Ukrainian company Farmak produces 262 types of medicines, 9 types of medical products, and supplements for treating diabetes. The company is a leader in the production and export of all types of medicines in Ukraine. The Czech company Ego Zlín is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of personal protective equipment, work clothing, bio-boxes, mobile hospitals and their equipment for medical, natural disasters, emergencies, military targets and various epidemiological situations.
High quality pharmaceutical products will increase the export capacity of Uzbek manufacturers in the global pharmaceutical market.
The Pharmacopoeia Center, which will be created within the cluster, will coordinate injection of internationally recognized quality standards in the activities of local enterprises and establish scientific and practical cooperation with them.
The center will comprise 12 main departments and create new jobs at its first stage for around 400 qualified specialists. In the near 5-7 years, the number will increase to 600-650.
“The State Pharmacopoeia will be introduced at the Pharmacopoeia Center, which will solve many problems in the pharmaceutical industry,” says the Agency on Development of the Pharmaceutical Industry worker Khabibula Djalilov. “It will also allow domestic pharmaceutical companies to export their products to about 100 countries that have recognized and supported the European Pharmacopoeia.”
In future, foreign clinics and medical centers will be opened here, and the cluster infrastructure will be further developed.
“The Tashkent Pharma Park cluster is one of the largest joint projects of Uzbekistan and South Korea,” shares the Chairman of the Association of Orthopedic Specialists of the Republic of Korea Yoon Taek Rim. “The project, which is being implemented as a zone of high-tech research and production, will unlock markets not only of the CIS countries, but also of other Asian countries. I believe that large-scale projects to protect public health will be implemented within the framework of the new cluster. We are ready to actively support scientific research in this direction.”
The innovative scientific and production pharmaceutical cluster Tashkent Pharma Park is the first and unique scientific town that will lay a solid foundation for the future of the entire industry. This will contribute to the rapid development of the pharmaceutical industry in Uzbekistan by attracting foreign investment and technology, introducing innovative solutions and high technologies based on international experience.