Rusnano and Nearmedic team on nanomedicine manufacturing plant

By Gareth Macdonald

- Last updated on GMT

Rusnano and Nearmedic Plus will build a ‘nanomedicine’ production facility in Russia in a collaboration that fits with Government efforts to boost local drug manufacturing.

The new plant in Obninsk in the country’s Kaluga Oblast region will manufacture Nearmedic’s Kagocel, which is an over-the-counter (OTC) antiviral consisting of plant-based active ingredient attached to a half-life boosting nanopolymer.

Nearmedic will relocate production from a rented facility in Moscow. The firm said the move is necessary to cope with increased demand for the product, sales of which have increased 13-fold since it was launched in 2003.

For its part Rusnano will invest RUB1.2bn ($34m) in the construction of the facility, which is expected to cost more than RUB4bn to build and be fully operational in late 2013.

Olga Shpichko, Rusnano MD, said: "The antiviral medicines segment is the most dynamically growing in the Russian pharmaceutical market,"​ suggesting that "The project will facilitate product expansion for this promising antiviral drug developed by Russian scientists​."

The move, like a similar collaboration Rusnano signed with Novouralsk-based pharma firm Medsintez in 2010​, is in keeping with the Government-owned organisation’s brief of supporting the development of Russia’s nanotechnology sector.

Pharma 20:20

The investment also fits with the Government’s wider efforts to reduce Russia’s reliance on drug imports and boost the amount of manufacturing in the country – the Pharma 20:20 plan launched in Decembe​r last year.

A central tenet of Pharma 20:20 is that production be brought into line with international standards through the adoption of good manufacturing practice (GMP) standards by 2014 – which is perhaps why the Nearmedic plant is described as being ‘GMP-tailored.’

Neither Rusnano nor Nearmedic were able to provide additional information ahead of publication.

Cleveland Labs

In other news, Rusnano has partnered with US biotech firm Cleveland Biolabs in a four year project designed to help the firm develop a portfolio of nanotech cancer drugs.

The collaboration, which could see Rusnano invest up to $26m, will see the Russian organisation buy a 55 per cent stake in Cleveland’s Panacela Labs, which has five drugs in development.

Related topics: Globalisation, Ingredients

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