Plans to create a pharmaceutical cluster in St Petersburg have received a boost with Swiss pharmaceutical giant, Novartis, signing a memorandum of intent to build a plant and announcing plans to start production.
The construction of the plant will be a part of a new Russian Market strategic program of Novartis which will see a $500 million investment program over 5 years. The project is also a move to establish cooperation in research, development and educational programs in health care said Vadim Vlasov, president of Novartis Russia.
“In the field of research cooperation the project is focused on the share of rights to develop molecules that already exist and purchase licenses for molecules developed by Russian scientist, clinical trials, implementing contract research and educational programs”
In St. Petersburg, Novartis will be located on a 10 hectare site in the Novoorlovskaya cluster zone. The construction will begin in 2011 and will be finished in 2014. The production capacity of the new factory will have an out put of 1.5 billion pharmaceutical items. The plant will produce both original products and generics. Vadim Vlasov said the list of drugs that will be produced, will be determined in the next year and a half.
"There are about 150 Novartis brand drugs currently on the Russian market and a few dozen of them will be produced on the factory in Novoorlovskaya.”
He added that the company's decision to build a factory in Russia and, in particular, in St. Petersburg, is based on several factors, including growing domestic demand and the St Petersburg research base.
“Novartis is working actively on the Russian pharmaceutical market. The expansion of our business presence and all partnerships has reached a critical mass, when the company decided to strategically invest in Russia. St. Petersburg has a unique research base and this was another argument in favor of the construction of production in this city."