AstraZeneca has become the latest drug firm to invest in Russian manufacturing capcity with the announcment of plans for a $150m facility in the country’s Kaluga region.
The facility, located at the Vorsino industrial park, will undertake everything from formulation to packaging and, according to the Anglo-Swedish drugmaker, will produce 16 million packs a year for the local drug market.
AstraZeneca joins Big Pharma peer GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and generic drugmaker Teva Pharmaceutical industries as the third major manufacturer to unveil a Russian investment in as many months.
The wave of investment follows hot on the heels of the Russian government’s call for drugmakers to expand production capacity in the country or risk facing what Prime Minister Vladimir Putin decribed as “restrictions.”
This was clearly a factor in AstraZeneca’s plans, at least that’s, if comments by the drugmaker’s boss in the country, Nenad Pavletic, are any indication.
In a translated statement sent to in-Pharmatechnologist.com by the firm, Pavletic said: “We want to be in Russia for Russia. We are also going to invest in R&D to support Russian innovative developments in fundamental science.
“Our investment decisions are supportive of Russian policy to modernize and develop the Russian pharmaceutical industry to make it innovative. Our main goal is to make high-quality medicines that will make a meaningful difference in the health and quality of life of Russian patients.”
The Kaluga plant’s focus on the Russian market was also stressed by regional govener Anatoliy Artamonov, who predicted “the new manufacturing facility will develop steadily to produce variety of affordable innovative GMP medicines for Russian patients.
Artamonov added that: “For our part, Kaluga government will strive to provide AstraZeneca with conditions for efficient operating in our region”.
The facility, work on which is scheduled to begin next month, will produce drugs for cancer, cardiovascular disease, neurological disorders, respiratory conditions and infections and will employ a staff of 145 people when fully operations in Spring 2013.