Boehringer Ingelheim and Cipla transferring manufacturing tech to Russian companies

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Russia has made it clear that it wants foreign manufacturers to produce drugs locally and transfer technology to the country in the process. Both Germany’s Boehringer Ingelheim and India’s Cipla have struck separate deals that will do that.

In the case of Boehringer Ingelheim, it has struck a deal with Petrovax Pharm for the Russian company to handle production of Boehringer’s thrombolytic drugs at its plant in the Moscow area. It expects production to begin in 2019.

“This is our first experience in transferring the unique technologies outside of Germany, the only country where they were previously available,” Pavol Dobrocky, managing director of Boehringer Ingelheim Russia, said in a release. “Local manufacturing of thrombolytic drugs will increase their affordability and boost the patients’ health, while also contributing to the pharmaceutical industry development.”

The next couple of years will be spent transferring the technology to the Petrovax Pharm facility, including installation and validation of equipment, transfer of production technologies and quality controls. Training of Petrovax employees will take place both in Germany and in Russia, Boehringer said. The company said once the target capacity is reached, Petrovax Pharm’s plant will produce enough medication to treat at least 30,000 patients per year, but will have the potential to expand.

“Petrovax Pharm has enough capacities to fully meet the need for thrombolytic therapy in Russia. In addition, we have reserve capacity, which allows us to increase the production several times and opens new prospects for further development,” Petrovax President Elena Arkhangelskaya said in a release.

The Boehringer deal came just ahead of the signing of a memorandum of understanding in which Mumbai-based Cipla agreed to transfer the technology for making APIs for HIV and AIDS drugs to Russia's National Immunobiological Company (Nacimbio. Cipla made its reputation in the West by producing cheap versions of HIV/AIDS drugs over the objections of Western drugmakers.)

“Currently, there is no technology for full-cycle manufacturing of HIV treatment drugs in Russia,” Subhanu Saxena, Cipla managing director and CEO, said in a statement. “We are glad that, as a responsible partner together with Nacimbio we will be able to improve drug availability for patients and make our contribution to the fight against HIV.”

Western drugmakers have been trying to decide how to best meet Russia’s demand for local production. Some, like AstraZeneca ($AZN) and Novo Nordisk ($NVO), have recently opened their own manufacturing facilities there, while others, like Pfizer ($PFE), have been investigating the partnership route.

- here's the Cipla release

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