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Gilead Sciences, a multinational science company ranked first1 in the world in the pharmaceutical industry 2019 innovation index, will produce the most innovative and life-saving medicines in Turkey in line with the strategic domestic production priorities of the state. Turkey will be the third production base after Canada and Ireland, where Gilead Sciences is currently producing for related pharmaceuticals. Gilead Sciences Turkey, which signed a cooperation agreement with Pharmactive for domestic production, will thus be able to produce more than 70% of its total turnover in Turkey.

The localization agreement was signed by Şebnem Girgin, General Manager of Gilead Sciences Turkey, and Haluk Sancak, Chairman of the Pharmactive Board of Directors, with the participation of Ministry of Health officials.

Şebnem Girgin, General Manager of Gilead Sciences Turkey, said, “One of the important items in the 100-Day Action Plan announced by the President was local production. As Gilead Sciences, we took this issue into our priorities 3 years ago and started working for it. Today, we are happy to realize this investment”. Haluk Sancak, Chairman of the Pharmactive Board of Directors, said, “We are all proud of being one of the few facilities that can produce pharmaceuticals at international standards as a result of the investments we have made”.

Gilead Sciences, a science company ranked first1 in the world in the pharmaceutical industry 2019 innovation index, enters into a production cooperation with Pharmactive to produce the most innovative and life-saving drugs in Turkey in line with the state's strategic domestic production priorities. The agreement on local production was signed by Şebnem Girgin, General Manager of Gilead Sciences Turkey, and Haluk Sancak, Chairman of the Pharmactive Board of Directors, with the participation of Ministry of Health officials.

Within the scope of the project, life-saving strategic medicines in the fields of hepatitis and HIV, defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the diseases for which access to medicine is most critical, will now be produced in Turkey in cooperation with Pharmactive. The project, which will start with the hepatitis B drug, expected to reach $1 billion in annual sales in the world, is expected to continue with the production of the latest discovered and innovative HIV drug, which is expected to reach $8 to $10 billion in annual sales in the world.

WE BRING TO LIFE THE LOCAL PRODUCTION INVESTMENT WE HAVE WORKED ON FOR 3 YEARS

In her speech at the signing ceremony, Şebnem Girgin, General Manager of Gilead Sciences Turkey, said, “One of the important items in the 100-Day Action Plan announced by the President was local production. As Gilead Sciences, we took this issue into our policies 3 years ago and started working for it. Today, we are proud happy to realize this investment”. Şebnem Girgin, who signed a cooperation agreement with Pharmactive in the field of production and investment in line with the strategic localization goals of the Ministry of Health, stated that with this agreement, other innovative drugs that Gilead is still developing will also pave the way for the production in Turkey. Girgin gave the following information on the production and investment project:

“Within the scope of the project, the technology transfer activities required for the production of innovative and patented hepatitis B treatments until 2021 and patented HIV treatments until 2033 in Turkey are starting.  Turkey will become the third country in the world after Canada and Ireland, which are already producing for these patented and innovative Gilead drugs, and Gilead Sciences Turkey will be able to produce more than 70% of its total turnover locally with this project. Furthermore, within the scope of the project, it seems possible to prevent a total of $250 million of imports in the next 4 years. Another aspect of the realization of our production project in Turkey is the export potential of these patented drugs, which have a high sales expectation in the world, in the future”.

PIONEERING IN TRANSFORMING FATAL DISEASES INTO MANAGEABLE DISEASES

Emphasizing that Gilead is a science company established 32 years ago to find a cure for AIDS and other incurable infectious diseases, Şebnem Girgin said:

“Our vision at Gilead is to eradicate these diseases from the face of the earth by developing the best solutions to life-threatening diseases. In this context, Gilead has pioneered efforts to transform diseases such as HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, hematology, oncology and systemic fungal infections from fatal to manageable diseases. Gilead, which is among the top 10 pharmaceutical companies in the world, allocates approximately $5 billion in R&D resources annually to its worldwide research, donates $400 million annually to address treatment access and social inequalities, and provides HIV treatment support to 12 million people in countries with limited resources. Having started its activities in Turkey in 2007, Gilead offers innovative treatments for life-threatening diseases with its more than 80 employees.  Gilead has provided $6 million worth of R&D support in Turkey in the last 5 years, and within the framework of the Scientific and Social Project Support Program, it has given a total of $700 thousand of gratuitous support to 46 projects. We are especially honored that production will be made in our country as a result of the agreement to be signed here today”.

Indicating that they focus on saving lives, Şebnem Girgin stated that they are honored to contribute to the control of many infectious diseases thanks to the most innovative treatments developed in their fields and whose patents are still ongoing. Girgin continued as follows:

“Hepatitis B is an field of expertise that we, as Gilead, have been working on for many years and developing effective treatments. With the investment decision we signed today, the first drug to be produced in our country is the latest molecule we have developed for Hepatitis B. HIV/AIDS, another area in which Gilead's innovative drug development efforts continue uninterrupted, is effectively managed within the healthcare system in our country. The National AIDS Commission, which was established in 1996, and the National HIV/AIDS Program, which is currently under development, emphasize the importance attached by our Ministry to these diseases and the studies it carries out in international standards for its control.

 Accordingly, the second Gilead drug to be produced in our country will be the drug containing the last molecule discovered in the field of HIV. In addition to all these, we are closely following all the works carried out by our Ministry in order to achieve the WHO 2030 targets in the field of Hepatitis C, where we lead the elimination efforts in the world, and we want it to be known that we are ready for all the tasks that fall on our side”.

WE ARE ONE OF THE COUNTRIES THAT CAN PRODUCE BIOTECHNOLOGICAL PHARMACEUTICALS AT INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS

Haluk Sancak, Chairman of the Pharmactive Board of Directors, stated that stated that they planned to have a high production capacity and competence when they established Pharmactive within the body of Saya Group in 2011 and said, “The capacity of 330 million boxes of our factory is at a considerable level in our country and even in the whole of Europe. As Pharmactive, we employ 860 people. In 8 years, we have developed 90 generic molecules, all in our own laboratories. Currently, we are one of the top 5 facilities in our country that produces the most. At present, we do half of our production for multinational companies”.

Stating that Turkey is in a position to produce every drug thanks to the drug production culture and motivation that has been established so far, Haluk Sancak stated that Pharmactive's work on biotechnological drug production continues. Sancak continued as follows:

“We wholeheartedly believe that Turkey will become a production base. As the Pharmactive family, we will always continue to do our part in order for our country to become a pharmaceutical producing base for the world. Two years ago, we had our first meeting with the science company Gilead Sciences, which has achieved the most remarkable achievements in molecule discovery in recent times. Gilead officials from the USA, after their visit to our facility, gave feedback as “We did not know before we came that such a facility could exist in Turkey”. They stated that they see Pharmactive as one of the facilities that will meet the global needs of Gilead. These feedbacks show that the future for our cooperation is very clear. Our cooperation with Gilead will also contribute greatly to our country's economy”.

Haluk Sancak said, “I strongly believe that this cooperation between Pharmactive and Gilead Sciences will pave the way for other foreign investments in the industry.  The signed cooperation agreement is also a message of confidence given to foreign investors; and therefore, it is very important for the country's economy. We are a strong team working with dedication for the sustainable health of our country. We are always ready to do more than our part”.

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