Russia has put pressure on Western drugmakers to engage in local production if they want to be in its market, and Pfizer will soon have another arrow in its quiver to hit that target.
Russia-based NovaMedica has started work on a new plant in Russia’s Kaluga region where it will produce 30 of Pfizer’s sterile injected generic meds for the local market. Pfizer today confirmed the report from Construction.RU that the project was underway.
“We hope the facility will be operational in 2020, ready to manufacture Pfizer medicines for the treatment of severe bacterial and fungal infections, cardiovascular disease, inflammatory diseases and cancer,” a Pfizer spokeswoman said in an email today.
She said Pfizer will transfer the technology to the NovaMedica plant, which will have liquid and lyophilized presentations and terminal sterilization and will handle the production of sterile emulsions. Most of the 30 drugs are on Russia’s Essential Drugs List, and and several are included in federal reimbursement programs.
NovaMedica was created in 2012 in a deal between venture capital firm Domain Associates and Russian investment fund Russano both to license products for the Russian market and to develop and produce some meds of its own.
Terms of the deal with Pfizer are being kept under wraps, but NovaMedica said earlier it would invest about $85 million in its plant in Kaluga which will employ 100 workers. NovaMedica has indicated that the Pfizer investment will be part of $200 million the company expects to see over the next 5 years from investors.
This is one of several deals Pfizer has undertaken to establish local manufacturing, a condition that Russian leader Vladimir Putin has placed on foreign drugmakers if they want to do business in the country. While some Big Pharma players such as AstraZeneca and Novo Nordisk have built their own plants, Pfizer is relying on local partners.
In 2015, Pfizer completed the transfer of technologies to NPO Petrovax Pharm for it to produce Pfizer blockbuster pneumonia vaccine Prevenar 13 at a plant in the Moscow area. Last year Pfizer reportedly signed an agreement for POLYSAN Scientific and Technological Pharmaceutical to manufacture the company’s Lipitor, Xeljanz and Zyvox at its plant in St. Petersburg.