Takeda opens $95M generics plant in Russia

Japanese drugmaker Takeda has completed construction of a nearly 260,000-square-foot plant in Yaroslavl, Russia, as it builds a presence in one of the most promising developing drug markets, but one that also is fraught with exceptional challenges to foreign players.

The €75 million ($95.9 million) facility, about 175 miles from Moscow, also builds on the presence in Russia of Nycomed, the Swiss generic drugmaker Takeda bought last year in a $13.7 billion deal, The Financial Times points out.

The plant, which won't be fully operational until 2014, will have the capacity to manufacture 90 million sterile ampoules and more than 2 billion tablets per year, the Heraldonline reports. The production of sterile liquids includes solution preparation, sterilization and fill and finish capabilities. Its solid dose manufacturing includes the full range of capabilities through packaging. The plant will start by making cardiovascular drugs Cardiomagnyl and Actovegin, as well as calcium tablets. About 200 people will initially work there.

Takeda has forecast sales this year of €630 million ($818 million), The Financial Times says, nearly double what it will earn in China. IMS Health pegs the Russian market at $14.7 billion in 2011 and expects it to grow about 11% a year between 2012 and 2016.

That growth and the fact that there are few modern drug manufacturing facilities in the country have drawn outside investors. Novartis ($NVS) and AstraZeneca ($AZN) both are investing there. One reason Russia is drawing foreign investment is because President Vladimir Putin has warned that the country may impose penalties against drugmakers that refuse to build and transfer technology there.

- read the Heraldonline story
- get more from The Financial Times

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