Sanofi-Aventis signs drug localisation pact with Russia

Diversified healthcare giant Sanofi-Aventis yesterday said that it had signed a memorandum of understanding with Prominvest, a fully owned subsidiary of the Russian State Corporation Rostekhnologii, confirming its intent to participate in the ''Pharmpolis Project'' using the new modern sanofi-aventis insulin factory located in Russia as a pilot initiative.

The ''Pharmpolis Project'' is part of the overall effort of the Russian Government to localise innovative drug manufacturers in Russia, to attract high technology platforms and to provide manufacturers with sufficient resources, effective business environment and proper supplier network to foster the expansion of the pharmaceutical market.

The document was signed by Mikhail Shelkov, general director of LLC Prominvest and Christopher A. Viehbacher, CEO, Sanofi-Aventis, during the Franco-Russian inter-governmental seminar held in the Castle of Rambouillet, France, where Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and french Premier François Fillon, were present.

''Today represents an important milestone for Sanofi-Aventis in its commitment and collaboration with the Russian Federation,'' said Viehbacher. ''We want to create a situation in which patients suffering from severe conditions, such as diabetes, are diagnosed and treated as early as possible and have access to innovative drugs at affordable prices. The manufacturing of insulin locally will be a major step towards achieving this goal.''

S V Chemezov, general director of the State Corporation Rostekhnologii, said diabetes was one of the Russian Federation's three major public health priorities, "with high mortality rates and affecting 2.5 million diagnosed Type 2 diabetes patients, according to the Russian National Diabetes Registry.''

Chemezov said, ''If undiagnosed cases are taken into account, this figure is estimated to be around 10 million people. Our aim is to fully satisfy Russia's market demand for insulin and to do all our best to fight against such dangerous and socially important disease, as diabetes.''