MSD and Akrikhin co-invest 300 million rubles in innovative medicines production

Companies aim to expand and deepen partnership in the transfer of pharmaceutical technologies

MSD, a global healthcare company known as Merck & Co., Inc. in the U.S. and Canada, and the leading Russian manufacturer AKRIKHIN expand their strategic partnership to localize the production of medicines for socially significant diseases in Russia. The companies made an announcement about their increased cooperation during a press briefing today, following a breakfast meeting between A. Vorobyev, the Governor of the Moscow Region, and investors. The event took place within the framework of the 2016 Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum.

Before the end of the first quarter of 2018, the companies expect to implement full-cycle production of four of MSD’s medicines for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes, including innovative products, at the AKRIKHIN production facility in the Moscow Region. The full-cycle pharmaceutical production of simvastatin, the first of the four medicines, is intended to be launched by the end of June 2016. In the next 18 months AKRIKHIN will launch the full-cycle production of three more medicines, including enalapril, sitagliptin and its combination with metformin. The total volume of investments in the project will have amounted to 330 million rubles by 2018.

The transfer of technology needed to ready full-cycle production is intended to be implemented as part of the contracts between MSD and AKRIKHIN. The two companies started their partnership in 2012 to contribute to the implementation of the Pharma-2020 strategy. For the past four years the packaging of seven MSD medicines for the treatment of cardiovascular, allergic and respiratory diseases, diabetes mellitus and fungal infections have been established at AKRIKHIN. More than half of them are included on the vital and essential drugs list in Russia. The annual volume of the production at the AKRIKHIN production facility has increased by 13% over the four years, and more than 30 new jobs have been created. Overall in 2015, AKRIKHIN produced 7.1 million packs of the MSD medicines worth 3 billion rubles at wholesale prices.

Denis Butsaev, Deputy Chairman of the Government, Minister of Investments and Innovations of Moscow Region:

“We welcome the expansion of collaboration between Russian pharmaceutical manufacturers and leading international companies in the territory of Moscow Region. It brings investments to the region and also successful international experience and technologies in a socially important segment of pharmaceuticals. As a result of such collaborations Russian consumers get better access to the high-quality medicines, while the region gets more jobs.”

Leonardo Santarelli, Vice President and Managing Director in MSD Russia:

“The Russian pharmaceutical market has a huge potential. We are pleased to participate in the development of the market, by transferring innovative technologies and supporting the development of GMP standards. Currently about 40% of sales in Russia are generated by products which are manufactured locally,” “We’re excited to expand our partnership with AKRIKHIN, to contribute to the development of the health care and pharmaceutical industry in Russia, and to help improve access to innovative drugs for the treatment of common non-communicable diseases.”

Denis Chetverikov, president of AKRIKHIN:

“Our strategic partnership with MSD, one of the world healthcare leaders, is proof that our production facility meets the highest standards. Our production meets the GMP standards, our factory has all the necessary infrastructure, and we have a professional team of employees with successful experience in localization projects. That is why international companies choose us as a reliable partner for localization in Russia. I am confident that the second phase of the strategic partnership of MSD – full production cycle – along with the introduction of new AKRIKHIN products will contribute to building the economy in our country and supply Russian consumers with affordable and effective medicines.”

Cardiovascular diseases are one of the leading causes of death in Russia: cardiovascular complications make up more than 50% of the general structure of mortality. In addition, the contribution of cardiovascular mortality in total mortality of the working-age population is about 30%. Experts estimate that more than 12 million people suffer from diabetes in Russia, with 85-90% of cases occurring in type 2 diabetes.

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