Introducing Arcera: ADQ’s Strategy for Advancing Life Sciences

ADQ, a leading investment entity based in Abu Dhabi, has recently unveiled Arcera, a new global holding company in the life sciences domain. Arcera, with its headquarters in Abu Dhabi, positions itself at the forefront of the life sciences industry with a clear mission to tackle healthcare challenges by delivering products designed to enhance human health and longevity.

Arcera is the culmination of ADQ’s strategic initiative to consolidate its assets within the life sciences sector, creating a global hub aimed at making pivotal contributions. These efforts are in line with Abu Dhabi’s Economic Vision 2030, focusing on the healthcare and life sciences sectors and propelling the UAE to a leading position in global science and technology.

The formation of Arcera involves transferring ADQ’s shareholdings from three companies into the new entity. These companies include Acino International, a Swiss-based pharmaceutical company with a rich history dating back to 1836, which specializes in the development, manufacturing, and international distribution of a broad range of medicines. Additionally, the Birgi Mefar Group, a key player in Türkiye known for its extensive sterile production capabilities and pharmaceutical distribution services, and Amoun Pharmaceutical Company, an Egyptian pharmaceutical manufacturer renowned for its wide array of human and animal health products, are part of Arcera.


Arcera employs over 6,500 individuals globally, with its operations spanning more than 90 countries across four continents. The company’s extensive portfolio includes 2,000 branded medicines covering various therapeutic areas, from neurology and gastroenterology to pain relief and cardiovascular diseases. Arcera’s robust manufacturing and packaging capabilities are spread across seven sites located in strategic countries, including the UAE, Switzerland, Ukraine, Estonia, South Africa, Türkiye, and Egypt.

Underpinned by Acino’s legacy and a strong growth trajectory, Arcera is set to double its revenue in the next five years. This ambitious goal will be achieved through strategic acquisitions and the establishment of high-impact global partnerships. Arcera aspires to be the preferred partner for top-tier academic institutions and leading pharmaceutical companies in Abu Dhabi, driving groundbreaking advancements to meet community needs in the region and beyond.

Arcera’s commitment extends to leveraging advanced technologies and R&D capabilities in the UAE to attract top talent and foster innovation. This approach aligns with its goal of creating an environment conducive to industrial, commercial, and clinical breakthroughs.

Isabel Afonso has been appointed as the Chief Executive Officer of Arcera, bringing to the role a wealth of experience from the pharmaceutical sector and a proven track record in transformation and global expansion.

Hamad Al Hammadi, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of ADQ, highlighted that Arcera marks a strategic evolution for ADQ, uniting its life sciences companies under one brand to unlock value and emphasize innovation, globalization, and digitization. This consolidation positions Arcera as a key contributor to Abu Dhabi’s life sciences sector, dedicated to enhancing patient outcomes and aligning with the emirate’s diversification goals.

Arcera’s brand name, a combination of ‘arc’ and ‘era’, signifies the company’s vision to ascend as a leader in the global life sciences industry, embodying upward momentum and longevity. This strategic move by ADQ through Arcera is a significant step towards transforming Abu Dhabi into a hub of innovation and excellence in the life sciences sector, promising a healthier and longer life for humanity.

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Staff Report

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