RUSNANO Invests in Production of Advanced Pharmaceuticals

(Nanowerk News) RUSNANO and Pharmsynthez have announced that financing is underway for a project to manufacture drugs to treat certain cancers and multiple sclerosis. The investment from RUSNANO is 820 million rubles. Current shareholders of the drug company and American company OPKO Pharmaceuticals are co-investing in the project.
Pharmsynthez will bring a number of unique and much-needed drugs to Russian and global markets. During this investment phase, clinical trials of the drugs that Pharmsynthez developed will be completed, their large-scale manufacturing will begin, and the drugs will be brought to foreign markets.
Pharmsynthez is a Russian pharmaceutical company that specializes in producing and distributing innovative drugs. The company is able to work in three areas of drug manufacturing—laboratory research and development of new medicines, preparation of original active pharmaceutical ingredients and drugs, and launching products into markets. Such breadth is unusual for Russian pharmaceutical companies.
By constructing its own production facilities, Pharmsynthez will be able to replace contract manufacturing. This will significantly reduce its production costs, allowing it to saving upwards of $2 million per year. The market in 2015 for drugs developed under this project in the US, the EU, and the CIS is forecast at more than $7 million; the Russian market—in excess of 14 billion rubles. Sales by Pharmsynthez of this drugs in 2015 are forecast at 1.2 billion rubles.
Pharmsynthez will issue several drugs to which it has rights: Myeloxen, a drug given by injection to treat multiple sclerosis, and four oral drugs—Cladribine-Nano, Fludarabine-Nano, Pulmoxen, and Virexxa. The five drugs, part of a class of drugs called either immunobiological preparations or modified nucleosides, are all in clinical trials, although stages vary.
Virexxa®, which Pharmsynthez developed, is without analogue anywhere in the world. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has assigned Virexxa the status of an orphan drug for hormonotherapy-resistant endometrial cancer, a malignancy of the lining of the uterus. Virexxa is the first innovative Russian pharmaceutical to receive orphan drug status in the United States, where the market is estimated at $500 million per year.
“Pharmsynthez has singular expertise developing, testing, manufacturing, and distributing pharmaceuticals. Among Russian pharmaceutical companies, not another comes to mind with its range of capabilities. Our investment will help Pharmsynthez reduce production costs and boost the volume of drugs it can release into the market. In the end, this will impact drug availability at home and give the company a hand in bringing products into markets in the West,” said Olga Shpichko, managing director at RUSNANO.
RUSNANO was founded in March 2011 as an open joint stock company through reorganization of state corporation Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies. RUSNANO's mission is to develop the Russian nanotechnology industry through co-investment in nanotechnology projects with substantial economic potential or social benefit. The Government of the Russian Federation owns 100 percent of the shares in RUSNANO. Anatoly Chubais is CEO and chairman of the Executive Board of RUSNANO.
Work to establish nanotechnology infrastructure and training for nanotechnology specialists, formerly conducted by the Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies, has been entrusted to the Fund for Infrastructure and Educational Programs, a non-commercial fund also established through reorganization of the Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies.
Source: RUSNANO (press release)
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