A Saudi biotechnology company that creates next-generation nanomedicines for affordable and accelerated pharmaceutical R&D activities.

 Founded in 2022, and headquartered in Riyadh, NanoPalm is a spinoff from the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) that went on to be incubated by the NextEra initiative, run by the KSA Ministry of Communication and Information Technology in partnership with The Garage, the startup district also based out of Riyadh. As an enterprise focusing on the development of deep nanotechnology-based, next-generation nanomedicines, NanoPalm was founded with a vision to revolutionize the biotech industry. It specializes in low-cost and accelerated pharmaceutical research and development, thereby promising to transform the landscape of drug development. As founder and CEO Dr. Ali Alhasan puts it, “Our mission is clear: to bring new trends of technologies for Vision 2030 Kingdom’s digital vision, providing transformational solutions that deliver next-generation technologies and high-end frameworks.”

 At the heart of NanoPalm’s mission lies the power of artificial intelligence (AI)-driven manufacturing of next-generation lipid nanoparticles (NG-LNPs), heralding a new era in gene therapy and clinical trial acceleration. These biorobots represent cutting-edge developments in drug discovery, with Dr. Alhasan adding, “Our vision is to become a pioneering force in the field, transforming pharmaceutical research and making major contributions to advancing healthcare.” According to Dr. Alhasan, NanoPalm’s competitive edge in the market stems from its deep-rooted values of affordability, proficiency, and innovation.

 The company aims to significantly improve the success rate of clinical trials to 85%, reduce development costs from US$1 billion to $100 million, and accelerate commercialization from 15 years to just five years. “Leveraging advanced nanotechnology, our biorobots are designed to address critical challenges in medicine,” Dr. Alhasan explains. “By enabling targeted delivery of therapeutic agents, these NG-LNPs enhance efficacy while minimizing side effects. For instance, in the realm of genetic diseases, NanoPalm’s biorobots targeting sickle cell disease aim to clear patients’ DNA from the mutated gene, offering a promising new approach to treating this debilitating condition. Similarly, for retinitis pigmentosa, a disease causing blindness, NanoPalm offers an alternative to surgeries in current therapies by delivering the therapy directly to the affected cells in the retina via a simple intravitreal injection. By pushing the boundaries of what is possible with its innovative technology and unyielding focus on healthcare outcomes, NanoPalm sets the stage for shaping the future of medicine, one biorobot at a time.”

 It should thus come as no surprise that NanoPalm’s technology has received a positive response both within Saudi Arabia and internationally. Leveraging the supportive ecosystem in Saudi Arabia, including regulatory bodies, investors, and research facilities, Nano- Palm has made significant strides in the creation of nanomedicines. “The response we’ve received in the Kingdom and beyond has been overwhelmingly positive, with stakeholders recognizing the potential impact of our technology on the pharmaceutical industry,” Dr. Alhasan says. “However, we have also faced challenges, such as navigating regulatory processes, securing funding for research and development, and building a skilled workforce in a relatively nascent biotech sector. Nonetheless, these challenges have served as opportunities for growth and have strengthened our resolve to succeed.”

 When it comes to advice for other entrepreneurs and startups considering the Kingdom as a base for their operations, Dr. Alhasan emphasizes the importance of leveraging the supportive ecosystem in the country, which includes government grants, incubators, and accelerators, and stresses the necessity of building strong partnerships while staying abreast of regulatory requirements. Such a support system is also why Alhasan believes there are significant growth opportunities in Saudi Arabia—also driven by ongoing government investments in diversifying the economy and fostering innovation—particularly in sectors like biotechnology and healthcare. Plus, the Kingdom’s commitment to entrepreneurship and technological advancement creates a conducive environment for startups to thrive. “The availability of funding, supportive regulatory frameworks, and initiatives like The Garage incubator have played pivotal roles in fostering a vibrant startup ecosystem,” Alhasan declares. “There is a solid sense of enthusiasm and optimism among entrepreneurs, with a growing community of innovators contributing to various sectors, including biotechnology. Saudi Arabia is on the path to becoming a center of innovation and technological transformation, driven by the spirit of collaboration and the readiness to accept change, and NanoPalm takes pride in being a participant in this fascinating journey.”

 In terms of the road ahead, Alhasan says that his goal for his business is not to merely expand within the Kingdom but rather, to position NanoPalm as the “frontrunner in the biotech industry.” “Operating out of Saudi Arabia provides numerous advantages, including access to a rich pool of talented researchers and scientists, strategic geographical positioning, and robust government support for innovation and entrepreneurship,” Alhasan continues. “With these advantages, Saudi Arabia holds the promise of emerging as a global hub for biotechnology and healthcare innovation, a prospect that drives our commitment to establishing NanoPalm as a leader in this transformative landscape.”

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