GSK, Pfizer set HIV drug manufacturing in Russia

Local manufacturing of HIV drugs is set to begin in Russia. Drug giants GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) and Pfizer ($PFE) have agreed to a partnership between ViiV Healthcare, their joint venture, and Russian pharma company Binnopharm.

Binnopharm will provide secondary manufacturing and packaging of ViiV's HIV drugs. Packaging operations are expected to start early next year, says Reuters.

The news agency paints the move as part of Big Pharma's scramble to stake claims in Russia. A dozen drugmakers have pledged more than $1 billion to help the federation develop its pharma industry and cut down on drug imports, according to the report. Many of the efforts involve manufacturing operations.

Binnopharm is also on deck to make GSK's cervical cancer, rotavirus and pneumococcal vaccines for the Russian market. Meanwhile, Pfizer has agreed that Moscow-area biopharma company Petrovax Pharm will manufacture the New York drug giant's pneumococcal vaccine, according to the report.

Abbott Laboratories ($ABT), Bayer, Sanofi ($SNY), Dr. Reddy's, Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ), Novartis ($NVS), Teva ($TEVA) and AstraZeneca ($AZN) are among the other drugmakers setting up in Russia.

- see the report