Rostec, Russian Direct Investment Fund to produce plasma-based coronavirus drug

TASS, 10.06.2020

Nacimbio holding (part of Rostec corporation) and Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) have agreed to carry out a joint project for production of a drug for coronavirus therapy based on blood plasma, Rostec and RDIF said in a statement on Wednesday.

The BioGam drug has successfully passed the first phase of clinical trials.

"The partnership between RDIF and Nacimbio involves the production of an immunoglobulin preparation containing antibodies to the SARS CoV-2 coronavirus. It is produced using the plasma of donors who have gone through a coronavirus infection," the statement said.

The production of immunoglobulin containing antibodies against coronavirus will be organized according to the full technological cycle, subject to the availability of raw materials, at four branches of the biotech company Microgen (part of Nacimbio holding). Investments raised within the partnership will be allocated for purchase of equipment, clinical trials, and preparation of documents to register the final drug, the statement said.

Rostec is ready to launch production at four sites - in Perm, Nizhny Novgorod, Tomsk and Ufa - after the drug passes registration, Chief Executive Officer Sergey Chemezov said.

Meanwhile, RDIF CEO Kirill Dmitriev referred to production of drugs using plasma from the blood of donors who have had coronavirus as one promising area of therapy that RDIF plans to develop in Russia together with Nacimbio.

Dmitriev said at a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin last week that a joint project with Nacimbio would be carried out on production of antibodies to the virus based on blood plasma and announced joint production with R-Pharm of a drug that reduces the excessive response of the immune system.

RDIF CEO also said that the Fund together with Alium, Sistema holding and R-Pharm would invest in production of two vaccines against the coronavirus, particularly jointly with the Gamaleya National Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology. The vaccine is demonstrating very good results and will enable Russia to become one of the global leaders in the field, he noted.

Russian Direct Investment Fund invested roughly 200 bln rubles ($2.9 bln) in various projects in January-May 2020, Dmitriev said.