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Quintiles sets sights on Russian R&D

By Natalie Morrison , 28-Feb-2012
Last updated the 09-Mar-2012 at 16:54 GMT

Quintiles is driving its clinical development services in the Russian Federation through a new alliance with Russian Venture Company (RVC).

The firm says the move is a bid to plug the gaps in the “under-presented” Russian R&D (research and development) sector, touting it as the next big emerging market for pharmaceuticals.

Ben Cons, global VP of Quintiles corporate development, told Outsourcing-Pharma: “With a population of 143m, Russia ranks among the largest emerging markets for clinical research worldwide, and is the world’s ninth most populous country.

“The Russian biopharmaceutical market is predicted to expand rapidly over the next few years, and Quintiles is well poised to help its biopharma customers navigate it.”

Russia’s unmet medical needs were highlighted in 2009, when the government launched the 2020 Pharma Health Plan; an effort to improve quality and affordability of healthcare for citizens by establishing more activities locally.

RVC is a result of said plans, which include ambitions to get more than 50 per cent of drugs on the Russian market produced domestically.

Both firms have kept plans to establish ventures in the region fairly close to their chests. However, Cons did tell us: “While details aren’t being disclosed at this time, these JV (joint venture) companies, when fully operational, will be part of Quintiles’ global family of services provided to customers, ensuring that they will operate to global standards for performance and quality.”

Russian grounding

Quintiles said it is well placed to operate within Russia, since it has had clinical services and solutions there since 1997. The firm has offices in Moscow, St Petersburg and Novosibirsk, with a team of almost 280 professionals, and opened a new commercial solutions facility in 2011.

Furthermore, earlier this year the CRO (contract research organisation) also set up a regulatory hub in the region.

The “hub” consists of a team of market authorisation experts who will serve the Russian Federation and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), and will act as Quintiles’ regulatory base for all of Eastern Europe.

But the company insists the move was not in preparation for the RVC partnership. Peter Lassoff, VP of regulatory affairs, told Outsourcing-Pharma: “The timing of these two announcements is entirely coincidental.”

He did however say the timing was fortunate: “With our expanded regulatory footprint in Russia, we can now provide customers with a one-stop-shop for the registration and commercialisation of new products both locally and beyond.”

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