Precision health and AI growth areas in Saudi’s pharma sector

24 April 2024 2 min. read

Saudi Arabia’s healthcare sector is set for a period of significant growth and change, spearheaded by promising developments such as precision health and the use of artificial intelligence.

Better healthcare and a good quality of life are key pillars of Saudi Arabia’s vision for the future. This is seeing investments ramp up across the landscape health care and adjacent life sciences landscape.

Hani Al Sayed, Growth Expert and Saudi Customer Engagement Leader at Frost & Sullivan, said that the Saudi Human Genome Program, inaugurated in 2018, stands as a prime example of innovation and development.

Hani Al Sayed, Growth Expert and Saudi Customer Engagement Leader at Frost & Sullivan

The Saudi Genome Program is embarking on the journey to construct a pioneering database that will not only capture the genetic blueprint of Saudi society but also revolutionize healthcare by enabling personalized medicine, driving down healthcare costs, and uplifting the overall quality of life.

“This program will provide valuable insights into the genetic factors underpinning major diseases prevalent in the country,” said Al Sayed. “Such findings will benefit both researchers and pharmaceutical companies, enabling the development of personalized medicines tailored to individual genetic profiles, ultimately enhancing patient outcomes.”

Another notable trend in KSA is the notable increase in venture capital funding directed towards AI-enabled drug discovery and emerging biotech platform technologies. Initiatives like the Saudi Venture Capital and Riyadh Valley have been instrumental in fuelling these advancements.

“These strategic investments are set to propel the development of AI-driven drug discovery platforms and innovative biotech solutions, contributing significantly to the overall enhancement of the healthcare industry in the country,” Al Sayed said.

Meanwhile, the move towards precision health is steering life science companies to boost their multi-omics research capabilities and leverage AI and bioinformatics for discovering pharmacological and digital therapies. Often backed by public-private partnerships and cross-industry collaboration, such innovations are – once available on the market – set to improve patient outcomes and save lives.