Geropharm, one of Russia’s top drugmakers, plans to become one of the leading producers and suppliers of insulin in the Latin American region in coming years. This will be achieved through the localization of production at the facilities of Venezuelan biotechnology company Espromed Bio, reports The Pharma Letter’s local correspondent.
An agreement was signed between the companies during the St Petersburg International Economic Forum, Russia’s most important annual business event.
Under the terms of the accord, the Russian company will establish production of insulins from active ingredients that will be supplied from Russia.
Financial details of the deal are not disclosed. According to Peter Rodionov, chief executive of Geropharm, starting from January 2020, the company will be able to cover the majority of Venezuela’s annual needs in basic human genetic insulin. The volume of production will amount to 8 million bottles per year.
Venezuela is already expected to be the second country in the Latin American region where regular supplies of insulin, produced by Geropharm, will be started, after Cuba. According to Mr Rodionov, Cuba’s annual needs in insulin are about four times less than that of Venezuela. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in 2020, however, the decision, regarding with Cuba’s localization has not yet been taken by the company.
The sphere of interest of the company in the Latin American region also includes Nicaragua, as well as other regional countries, while in the middle term the company hopes to become a leading supplier and exporter of insulin in the entire Latin American continent.
In the meantime, the expansion in the Latin American region is part of the plans of the Russian government to increase domestic drug exports by almost five-fold by 2030, compared to 2018.
Russian pharma exports hit $542 million in 2018
According to data from Russian pharma-focused analytics agency the DSM Group, in 2018 exports of Russian drugs in value terms amounted to $541.7 million.
With regard to the Russian insulin market its present its capacity is estimated at 26.4 billion roubles (~$407 million) in value terms and 15.3 million packages in value. The share of imports exceeds 88% in value and 75% in volume terms, DSM reports.
Espromed Bio currently remains a state-owned enterprise in Venezuela, which develops and manufactures vaccines, monoclonal antibodies, erythropoietins, interferons and other biological preparations. The annual production capacity is estimated at 120 million doses of bioproducts.