CSL opens Russian launchpad but no production plant plans in pipeline

By Dan Stanton

- Last updated on GMT

CSL Behring could look to a toll manufactruing agreement to help bring its products to Russia, following the opening of a Moscow office. Photo - rpellicer/iStock
CSL Behring could look to a toll manufactruing agreement to help bring its products to Russia, following the opening of a Moscow office. Photo - rpellicer/iStock

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CSL Behring will target growing Russian demand for protein-based therapies through a new Moscow office but says for now there are no plans for a local manufacturing site.

The firm, which makes a number of therapies derived from human blood plasma or manufactured using recombinant technologies, says it is looking to address the low consumption of such products in Russia by opening an office in Moscow.

CSL has seven products registered in Russia and was joined by Russian healthcare leaders and patient advocate at the opening last week, where CEO Paul Perreault said “it will now be easier to launch products in Russia and offer new therapy options to doctors and their patients.”

Manufacturing commitment?

Russia’s Pharma 2020 policy​, implemented in 2011 by then-Prime-Minister- now-President Vladimir Putin, is pushing to reduce the country’s reliance on imported products and encourage home-grown production.

But despite this, CSL spokesperson Natalie de Vane told Biopharma-Reporter.com that while Strategy 2020 foresees an increase in local production and various mechanisms that may support localisation… there is no obligation for pharmaceutical producers to localise their production.”

She continued, telling us CSL is investigating a number of opportunities and “exploring ways to contribute to the development of the Russian pharmaceutical industry,”​ without manufacturing locally.

“For example, because the amount of human plasma that is currently collected in Russia is insufficient to meet the growing demand for protein-based medicines, it may be possible to transfer our CSL Behring plasma collection technology to Russia, and initiate toll manufacturing in that country.”

A toll manufacturing agreement would see CSL provide its raw materials or semi-finished goods to a third-party in Russia to make the finished product for the local market, similarly to GSK’s 2011 joint venture​ with Moscow-based vaccine firm Binnopharm.

Meanwhile, other foreign pharma companies have been constructing their own local production plants to ensure a slice of the market. Novo Nordisk, for example, opened an insulin formulation and filling plant in the Kaluga region earlier this year​, citing its support for the Pharma 2020 programme.

And on the plasma processing side – a major area of CSL’s business, evident from the opening of an Illinois facility last year​ – Russian firm MasterPlasma began construction on a 600,000L plant in Vladimir back in September​.

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