Ipsen weighs strategies for Russian growth

France's Ipsen hung out a shingle in Russia for the first time this year. Aiming to increase sales by 15% a year over the near future, it's looking at ways to fuel that expansion, the Moscow Times reports. Thanks to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's directive that privileges locally produced drugs, that growth will have to include domestic manufacturing.

So, says CEO Marc de Garidel, Ipsen is weighing two options: Building its own manufacturing plant or teaming up with one or more Russian partners. If Ipsen chooses to set up its own production facility, it would be the first mid-sized European drugmaker to do so, a market research firm told the Russian newspaper. "Investment in manufacturing is expensive," de Garidel tells reporters in Moscow. "[It] needs to be considered in a long-term perspective."

Ipsen posted Russian sales of €57 million ($80 million) last year, the Times says. Opening a local office was the company's "first step" toward boosting its domestic presence, VP Jean Fabre explains. Finding a local partner would be the least costly strategy, but with foreign drugmakers flocking to the country, Ipsen's choices could be limited. Many domestic players are already hooked up with U.S. and European pharma companies.

The company will weigh its options for the next few months, de Garidel says. Russia is one of the four markets Ipsen has especially targeted for growth, he adds; the others are China, Brazil and the U.S.

- read the story in the Moscow Times