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Novartis starts on St Petersburg plant

Novartis starts on St Petersburg plant
Swiss pharmaceutical company, Novartis, has on Thursday started construction of its first, $500 million Russian plant, in the St Petersburg special economic zone, Novo-Orlovskoe.

The deal, unveiled as part of the St Petersburg International Economic Forum will see total investment of $500 million over 5 years, into plant construction as well as R&D.

According to Joseph Jimenez, chief executive director at Novartis, they will decide on the final list of medicines to be produced at the plant within the coming 2-3 months, with the volume of annual production planned at 1.5 billion items.

Russian economic minister Elvira Nabiulllina said the deal underlined the potential of Russia’s pharmaceutical market.

“Today the volume of Russia’s pharmaceutical market is about $22 billion, and many estimates say consumption in this industry will grow.”

Valentina Matvienko, St Petersburg governor, added that the move by Novartis highlighted the city’s investment attractiveness, with the total planned investment of other pharmaceutical companies estimated at $25 billion.

“We are currently in talks with 5-6 pharmaceutical companies, including those in the framework of the Forum.”

Matvienko added the St Petersburg government was looking to push a pharmaceutical cluster for the region.

“We intend to set up a full fledged pharmaceutical cluster in 2-3 years, which will be our input into the Governmental programme “Pharma 20-20.”