Under the accord Moscow-based Binnopharm, a unit of Sistema, will act as a local secondary producer and packager of drugs for ViiV.
The deal builds on the relationship GSK established with Binnopharm last year, which saw the Russian firm agree to produce the UK drug major’s range of cervical cancer, pneumococcal and rotavirus vaccines for the local market.
Under the November accord GSK supplied Binnopharm with bulk supplies of the vaccines and transferred some production technology and expertise to the firm’s plant. In return Binnopharm was responsible for gaining the necessary regulatory approvals.
Pfizer too has recently boosted its manufacturing activities in Russia, forming a partnership with Petrovax Pharm in March. Under that agreement Petrovax will make Pfizer’s pneumococcal vaccine at its facility, which is also in Moscow.
All three agreements fit with the recent the trend that has seen a number of international manufacturers add production capacity in Russia after the country’s government launched its Pharma 20-20 plan.
Dmitriy Spitsin, ViiV Healthcare Country Manager, Russia told in-Pharmatechnologist.com that: "This agreement with Binnopharm reflects two priorities for ViiV Healthcare in Russia. Firstly, it is an example of our flexible approach we are taking to deliver our commitment of making antiretroviral medicine more available in countries like Russia through local partnerships.
"Secondly it is our reflection of the Russian Government priorities and the need to support increased investment in local production. At ViiV Healthcare, we are committed to delivering innovation for people living with HIV wherever they are in the world, and this is one of the ways in which we are doing this.”
He explained that ViiV Healthcare will supply bulk products, technology and expertise to enable Binnopharm to undertake the secondary manufacture, including packaging, of Combivir, Kivexa and Epivir in accordance with international current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) standards.
Spitsin added that: "This is the start of a project of full manufacturing transfer of core antiretroviral products for people living with HIV in Russia from overseas to the Russian Federation. The local manufacture of Combivir, Kivexa and Epivir means that up to 70% HIV positive patients would be treated with products manufactured in country.”
Binnopharma general manager Alexey Chupin, agreed, and set the collaboration with ViiV in the context of his firm's wider manufacturing expansion.
“The implementation of this joint project... is a next step in our programme of continued investment in our facilities and in the quality of the Russian staff and management who work hard to create an international and innovative business partnership."