Russian Direct Investment Fund, R-Pharm to set up JV with investment worth 4 bln rubles

TASS, 10.06.2020

Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and R-Pharm Group will set up a joint venture with investment exceeding 4 bln rubles ($58 mln) for development and production of biotech drugs and vaccines against the coronavirus, RDIF said in a statement on Wednesday.

As part of the joint venture, a modern biotechnological production facility will be constructed in Russia's Yaroslavl to manufacture active pharmaceutical ingredients and finished dosage forms with the potential to export products to the Middle East and other countries in the future, the Fund said.

The JV will focus on a number of areas, including scaling up the production of drug Artlegia (olokizumab) used in therapy for a cytokine storm (excessive response of the immune system) in patients with moderate coronavirus infection. Moreover, production of a unique, first Russian vaccine for coronavirus infection developed by the Gamaleya National Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation is planned.

RDIF Chief Executive Officer Kirill 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.

Dmitriev 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.