ADQ launches holding company Arcera to build a global life sciences powerhouse anchored in Abu Dhabi

1 April, 2024 by
ADQ launches holding company Arcera to build a global life sciences powerhouse anchored in Abu Dhabi


  • ADQ’s shareholdings in Acino International, Birgi Mefar Group and Amoun Pharmaceutical Company consolidated under new Abu Dhabi-headquartered holding company Arcera support the Emirate’s ambition to be a leader in addressing and mitigating healthcare challenges
  • With a footprint spanning over 90 countries across four continents, Arcera brings together complementary businesses offering 2,000 branded medicines across a wide range of therapeutic areas with a combined workforce of more than 6,500 people
  • To advance innovation, research and development in line with the Emirate’s vision for the sector, Arcera aims to become a partner of choice for pioneering academic institutions and leading pharmaceutical companies in Abu Dhabi and around the globe
  • Arcera has the ambition to double its revenue over the next five years

ADQ, an Abu Dhabi-based investment and holding company, has announced the formation of Arcera, a global holding company in the life sciences sector headquartered in Abu Dhabi, UAE, that is aiming to be a leader in addressing and mitigating healthcare challenges by offering products that improve the quality and longevity of human life.

Consolidating ADQ’s existing assets in this sector, the establishment of Arcera builds a global life sciences powerhouse set to make significant contributions to realizing Abu Dhabi’s 2030 Healthcare Life Sciences Vision and bolster the UAE’s aspiration to emerge as a frontrunner in science and technology.

ADQ’s shareholdings in three companies were transferred to Arcera: 

  • Acino International (Acino), a pharmaceutical company headquartered in Switzerland with origins dating back to 1836 and manufacturing sites in five countries as well as commercial operations across four continents that develops, manufactures, markets and distributes a wide range of medicines internationally. 
  • Birgi Mefar Group (BMG), one of Türkiye’s largest sterile production service companies specializing in the manufacturing of sterile injectables and glass packaging, in addition to pharmaceutical distribution services.‍
  • Amoun Pharmaceutical Company (Amoun), a leading pharmaceutical manufacturer headquartered in Egypt specialized in the development, manufacturing, marketing, distribution, and export of a wide range of human pharmaceutical and animal health products.

With a combined workforce of over 6,500 people and sales and distribution in over 90 countries across four continents, Arcera aims to offer groundbreaking solutions that foster longer and healthier lives.

Arcera offers 2,000 branded medicines across a wide range of therapeutic areas, addressing numerous acute and chronic conditions across neurology, gastroenterology, cardiovascular, pain relief and rheumatology and anti-infectives. The company’s robust manufacturing and packaging base encompasses seven sites in the UAE, Switzerland, Ukraine, Estonia, South Africa, Türkiye and Egypt.

Boosted by Acino’s legacy and strong growth track record over the past years, Arcera is planning to double its revenue over the next five years through value-accretive strategic acquisitions in key markets globally and forging high-impact global partnerships.

By positioning itself as the preferred partner anchored in Abu Dhabi for top-tier academic institutions and leading pharmaceutical companies, Arcera is committed to spearheading groundbreaking advancements that address the needs of communities in the region and beyond.

Leveraging advanced technologies and robust research and development capabilities in the UAE, Arcera is dedicated to pushing the boundaries. At the heart of this mission is attracting and nurturing of top-tier talent in Abu Dhabi to accelerate human-centric innovation and foster an environment ripe for industrial, commercial, and clinical breakthroughs.

Complementing this focus is Arcera's dedication to driving organic growth, bolstering its product portfolio in areas of increasing need and demand, as well as creating value for its companies through centralized capabilities such as Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) and disruptive digital capabilities.

Isabel Afonso serves as Chief Executive Officer of Arcera. She brings extensive experience in the pharmaceutical sector to this role as well as proven expertise in transformation and global expansion, acquired through 18 years of leadership in a top-tier pharmaceutical company and an additional eight years of management roles in other industries, including MedTech.

‍Hamad Al Hammadi, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of ADQ, said: “By consolidating our life sciences companies under one umbrella, Arcera signifies a strategic evolution, unlocking substantial portfolio value and reinforcing our commitment to innovation, globalization and digitization, which are key growth levers in this industry. As a unified force, Arcera is positioned to be a significant contributor to Abu Dhabi's life sciences sector, reflecting our unwavering dedication to improving patient outcomes through groundbreaking solutions while aligning with the Emirate's diversification goals.”

‍Isabel Afonso, Chief Executive Officer of Arcera, said: “The growing need for high quality and effective medicines lends tremendous importance to building a global life sciences company like Arcera. Arcera enables its businesses to accelerate growth plans and enhance integration, as well as further expand and develop capabilities. We are pursuing bold ambitions and work towards becoming a leading global life sciences company that fosters longer and healthier lives while creating value. It is a great honour to be trusted to lead Arcera.”

Arcera's brand name is a fusion of 'arc' and 'era,' symbolizing upward momentum and longevity. This choice reflects the company's vision to emerge as a leading global player in the life sciences industry.


Source: ADQ newsroom