Hikma unveils $30m digital health fund in Jordan


Hikma Pharmaceuticals' corporate investment arm Hikma Ventures has launched a $30 million digital health fund in Jordan, focusing on therapeutic and diagnostic start-ups.

The company's roots are in Jordan, where it was established in 1978. It has expanded into an international business since the 1990s, but it still has a strong presence in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

The fund is intended to aid Hikma Pharmaceuticals' efforts in the digital health sector whilst supplementing its research and development activities.

Lana Ghanem, Hikma Ventures' Managing Director expressed the company's willingness to "invest in companies across different stages, including seed, series A and series B."

"We are looking at digital medical devices, wearables, big data analytics platforms and telemedicine across areas like chronic disease management, oncology, respiratory, consumer health, and mental health."

Ghanem also made it clear that Hikma was specifically looking to invest in digital health and drug delivery, although emphasised that the company would remain opportunistic in its approach if something from a different field were to "pop up" on its radar.

Although not having the greatest of 2015's, Hikma's fortunes have started to look up with the recent news of the FDA's approval of its COPD treatment VR 315 - a generic version of GSK's Advair Diskus. Joining a growing list of pharma companies tapping into the rapidly developing digital health sector may also help towards lifting itself out of a brief period of stagnation following a drop in profits for its generics division.

Ghanem has insisted the $30 million is a starting amount for the fund and that the company is actively pursuing deals across the rest of the Middle East and Northern Africa, as well as in Europe and North America.

Marco Ricci

26 April, 2016