Russian toward innovation

Pfizer and ChemRar High Tech Center to explore innovative medical R&D partnership in Russia

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WASHINGTON, D.C.—Pfizer Inc. and ChemRar High Tech Center, aRussian pharmaceutical investment and R&D group, recently announced thesigning of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to explore the possibility of acollaboration focused on the research, development and commercialization ofinnovative drugs in Russia and other countries.
Pfizer and ChemRar will explore collaboration opportunitiesfor the development and commercialization of innovative compounds from Pfizer'spipeline through technology transfer and outlicensing deals with venturefunding, though no details as to specific compounds have been released. The twocompanies also plan to develop compounds and vaccines for the health issuesthat are of greatest concern in Russia.
"The main focus today is to explore the potential fordevelopment and commercialization of certain innovative compounds withinPfizer's pipeline to treat patients with cardiometabolic, infectious andoncology diseases, which are a high priority for the Russian Federationhealthcare system," says Sam Azoulay, senior vice president of medical anddevelopment in emerging markets at Pfizer, adding that the company is "proud tocollaborate with ChemRar High-Tech Center."
The terms of the MoU state that Pfizer and ChemRar canfurther collaborate with other partners, including the Moscow Institute ofPhysics and Technology, the Skolkovo Foundation and other members of theRussian Biopharmaceutical Cluster "Northern," created under the Federal TargetProgram of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation.Additionally, the two companies can establish a shared-risk platform forseveral of Pfizer's research and development programs designed to achieveclinical candidates and proof-of-concept in the clinic.
"Considering the importance of international partnership toour government's vision for Russian business, the expertise of leading pharmaceuticalcompanies such as Pfizer is very important," Andrey Ivaschenko, chairman of theboard at ChemRar, said in a press release. "Agreements such as this arecritical to developing the applied sciences and university research in Russia,within the global market environment."
Ivaschenko says ChemRar is completing due diligence andconducting negotiations on several molecules in Pfizer's pipeline, adding thatthey hope "first contracts on technology transfer, co-development andco-investment will be signed very soon." The partnership, he says, is one theybelieve will help "to better position innovative Russian medical sciences andtheir competitive advantages within the international life industriescooperation."
The partnership is part of Pfizer's strategy in Russia knownas "MORE THAN," which aims at contributing to the modernization of Russia'shealthcare system, as well as extended life expectancy, lowered mortality rateand improved quality of life for all Russians. MORE THAN is also meant tocreate value for the Russian people through modernizing its pharmaceuticalindustry, accelerating medical innovation development and improving healthcareaccess.
"We see Russia as a potential leader in the innovativepharmaceutical, biotechnological and nano-technological areas," David Simmons,president and general manager of emerging markets and established products atPfizer, said in a press release. "The Pharma 2020 Strategy driven by theRussian government creates favorable conditions for transition of the Russianpharmaceutical industry to the innovative development model, and Pfizer isexcited to be a part of these new opportunities." 
The Pharma 2020 Strategy, which originated in 2007, isfocused on the goal of "re-establishing the pharmaceutical industry in Russiain the context of the market economy," according to Ivaschenko. The emphasis,he says, is on localizing the full cycle of drug development in Russia, fromdiscovery to manufacturing, a goal that "can be achieved only if the domesticpharmaceutical industry becomes innovative through partnerships withinternational pharmaceutical companies and Russian academia."
"We have over 15 years experience in research cooperationwith Pfizer," says Ivaschenko. "This new approach is aiming at a new horizonrepresenting a truly win-win solution for both parties."

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