Firm will also work alongside Russian government to expand investments in R&D.

Novartis has confirmed its intention to build a full-scale pharmaceutical manufacturing plant in St. Petersburg, Russia. The investment forms part of a $500 million commitment by Novartis in local infrastructure and collaborative initiatives over the next five years. The overall partnership with the Russian government will target local manufacturing, R&D partnerships, and public health development.

Construction of the St. Petersburg plant is expected to start in 2011. Novartis says it will represent one of the largest investments by the firm in local manufacturing and serve both the Russian market and other territories. Once fully completed it is expected to produce about 1.5 billion units of branded generics and pharmaceuticals every year.

Additional investments in R&D and public health collaborations will include alliances with academia and with the emerging Russian private sector in a range of medical science fields. Novartis hopes its efforts will lead to agreements for the outlicensing of its own compounds to Russian companies and the in-licensing of promising drug candidates from Russian academia. The Swiss drugs giant also aims to double its investment in Russian clinical trials and hopes to have 4,000 Russian individuals involved in clinical studies by 2013.

“This collaboration shows our commitment to contributing to the ambitious healthcare goals of the Russian government,” remarks Joseph Jimenez, Novartis CEO. “The ongoing partnership with Russia enables us to expand our commercial presence in a key emerging market. The scientific development and public health efforts have been prioritized to focus on the most beneficial programs for the Russian people.”

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