A DISTRIBUTION company launched to help British medicines and pharmaceuticals manufacturers export to the Middle East has launched its first overseas office.

CurePharma, founded by director Mustafa Al-Shalechy, and business development manager Ali Alshamari, has opened an office in Doha, Qatar, to liaise with clients, agents and national governments issuing medical supply tenders throughout the region.

The duo both hold masters-level pharmacy degrees from University of Bradford, which has just nominated CurePharma for an Outstanding Achievement Award in the Duke of York Young Entrepreneur of The Year Awards, which will be presented in May.

The expansion comes after CurePharma, headquartered at Thorp Arch between York and Wetherby, exported £500,000 worth of prescription pharmaceuticals and over-the-counter products to Middle East countries in 2017.

Mr Al-Shalechy said: “We have now two distributors in Iraq, where we made our initial order, and others in Qatar, Bahrain, Yemen, Jordan and Kuwait.

“Our new Qatar office will make it far easier for us to liaise with clients, handle tenders and hear about opportunities for our UK partners.

“It will also give us a lot of credibility in The Middle East to be able to deal with paperwork and sign contracts locally.”

CurePharma’s new Doha office is staffed by pharmacists, husband-and-wife, Saif Alderzi and Gina Alderzi, from Lincolnshire, who joined CurePharma in the UK 18 months ago.

The business has already won the Duke of York Young Entrepreneur Award at Huddersfield University in April 2107.

CurePharma received start-up export advice from overseas trade specialist, Chamber International, and now works with pharmaceutical, medical devices and healthcare products manufacturers in Bolton, Bradford, Hull, London and Pocklington.

The overseas expansion follows Mustafa Al-Shalechy and Ali Alshamari meeting 150 prospective customers at CurePharma’s stand at Arab Health, the world’s second biggest healthcare and pharmaceuticals trade fair, in Dubai in February.

Mr Alshamari said: “In developing Cure Pharma, we have both travelled widely in the Middle East, but the Doha office will enable us to spend more time in the UK developing relationships with more British pharmaceutical companies and sourcing a wider range of export products.”