Moscow is now one of Russia’s largest medicine manufacturers

Moscow is now one of Russia’s largest medicine manufacturers
Photo: Photo by the Mayor and Moscow Government Press Service. Denis Grishkin
Among Moscow’s pharma manufacturers there are 17 large to medium-sized companies, which together produced 100 million drug packages in 2016.

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin and Rusnano Board Chairman Anatoly Chubais have opened a new NovaMedica technological centre at the Moskva Technopolis. This integrated pharmaceutical plant has laboratory and production capacity for dozens of drugs.

“Moscow is one of Russia’s largest drug manufacturers. New enterprises are being opened both at existing plants and those under construction. One of them, NovaMedica, is based at the Moskva Technopolis. It will feature a laboratory and pilot production lines with cutting-edge equipment. We expect that NovaMedica will introduce new drugs to the market this year already, drugs that will then be produced both in Russia and abroad,” Sergei Sobyanin said.

He also thanked Anatoly Chubais and Rusnano for promoting innovation in all Russian industries, including pharmacology.

Anatoly Chubais said that the technopolis features Russia’s best pharma centre, which was made possible thanks to the efforts on the part of Moscow authorities. “For us, NovaMedica is really a project to establish Russia’s first large drug manufacturer that will focus on original medicines and not generics,” he said. The construction of the larger plant will begin in May 2017.

NovaMedica pharmaceutical company

NovaMedica is a vertically integrated pharmaceutical company.  It was established in 2012 by the leading US venture capital firm Domain Associates LLC and Rusnano. NovaMedica currently employs 140 people.

Its partner universities include the National Research University Higher School of Economics and the St.Petersburg State Chemical and Pharmaceutical Academy.

NovaMedica carries out its own research and industrial projects and conducts searches, registers and localises production in Russia of innovative pharmaceutical drugs and technology.

New drugs

The company plans to focus on research and test production of new kinds of drugs at its technological centre, which they launched at the Moskva Technopolis.

The centre covers 1,500 square metres and has a pharmaceutical and analytical lab that specialise in gastroenterology and ophthalmology. Production lines are equipped to perform all stages of drug manufacturing, including extrusion or making items by pushing heat-treated material or viscous paste through a die. They can also produce tablets, drug coatings and primary packaging.

The centre will carry out up to 20 research projects every year.

The planned output is 40 million units a year. So far NovaMedica has invested 800 million roubles into the centre.

The company owns intellectual property rights for 24 innovative drugs and technology from the portfolio of the RusnanoMedInvest venture fund. These are medicines for antiviral and anti-inflammatory therapy, ophthalmic diseases and epilepsy, and innovative technology for the detection of cancers and infectious diseases.

By the year 2022, the research division of the company plans to develop about 15 original medicines. Seven of these drugs are already at different stages of development ranging from the forming of dosage to clinical studies and state registration.

NovaMedica drugs have several distinctions.

Drugs for the treatment of gastroenterological diseases will not have to be taken at strict intervals as is currently the case. One pill a day will suffice.

Medicines will be targeted and the active substance will be quickly delivered to the intended organ, two of the most important requirements for modern drugs.

As an efficient measure to fight against drug abuse, the centre uses modern technology to split a drug’s active substance into so many different components that it will be practically impossible to extract it from the pill after production.

Partnership with pharmaceutical giants

NovaMedica is a partner of a number of prominent pharma companies including Pfizer, Ferring Pharmaceuticals, Omega Pharma, S.I.F.I. S.p.A.

Under its partnership agreement, Pfizer will transfer to NovaMedica the right to produce and bring to market 30 vital medicines, a third of which have never been produced in Russia.

Under a partnership with Ferring Pharmaceuticals, NovaMedica promotes, distributes and sells innovative prescription-based medicines for the treatment of inflammatory diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. These include Cortiment (Budesonide) for ulcerative colitis, Pentasa (Mesalazine) for ulcerative colitis and mild or moderate form of the Crohn's disease, and Picoprep that cleanse the intestine prior to an X-ray or an endoscopic investigation, such as colonoscopy, and surgery.

The partnership with Omega Pharma means that NovaMedica has exclusive rights to promote, distribute and sell in Russia a portfolio of over-the-counter gastroenterological products of the Benegast umbrella brand. These are not considered drugs, and can relieve heartburn, bloating and other intestinal issues.

The partnership with  S.I.F.I. S.p.A. provides exclusive rights to bring to the Russian and CIS markets the following ophthalmic drugs: Eyestil (eye drops), Kolbiotsin (eye ointment), Lacrisifi (eye drops of the group of artificial tears), Mytilene Forte (capsules containing high concentration of active substances, blueberry anthocyanosides), Nettavisk (eye ointment), Nettacin (eye drops),  Octilia (eye drops).

Moscow as Russia’s pharmaceutical centre

There are 17 large and medium Moscow companies active in the pharmaceutical industry. They include:

— Mikrogen of the Moscow Healthcare Ministry;

— Moskovsky Endokrinny Zavod;

— Feron;

— N.A.Semashko Moskhimfarmpreparaty;

— Makiz-Farma

The staff of all of them combined total 8,350.

In 2016, Moscow produced 100 million packages of various drugs worth 45.96 billion roubles. Investment into the fixed capital of pharma companies totalled 636.6 million roubles.

Companies based in Moscow produce (as a percentage of the national output):

— 36.7 percent of psychiatric and neurological drugs;

— 49.5 percent of ophthalmic drugs;

— 11.7 percent of antiasthmatic and antihistamines;

— 9.2 percent of vitamins.

Moskva Technopolis and the city’s new manufacturers

The Moskva Technopolis was established in 2012. Located at 42 Volgogradsky Prospekt, not far from the Tekstilshchiki metro station in Moscow’s southeast, it is one of the first areas specialized for high-tech production.

The technopolis covers 33.5 hectares, with 357,000 square metres of production floor space, and is managed by the company Stroieksprom.

The 94 companies located at Moskva Technopolis specialise in robotics, microelectronics, optics, nanotechnology, medical technology, and biopharmacology, and employ a total of 2105 people.  This list of companies includes Kompozit, Crocus Nano Electronics, NeoPhotonics, Mapper, Schneider Electric and NovaMedica, among others.

Resident companies have everything they need for efficient production. There is a logistics centre, a warehouse for temporary storage, and a customs centre that provides such options as online declarations and custom administration.

In addition, the technopolis is home to a congress centre, a polytechnic museum, the Quantorium children’s technical park, the Hackspace engineering and industrial design centre along with an integrated print office. 

The Moskva Technopolis works closely with universities, including Bauman Moscow State Technical University, Moscow Power Engineering Institute and Moscow Aviation University.