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.
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 December 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.
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.