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Same-Day Analysis

Russia's Microgen and Brazil's Butantan Institute to enter into vaccine development agreement

Published: 23 June 2014

Russia is strengthening its co-operation with Latin America in biopharmaceuticals.



IHS Life Sciences perspective

 

Significance

Microgen, one of Russia's largest vaccine manufacturers, and the Butantan Institute, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, will enter into a vaccine development agreement.

Implications

The development agreement will confirm Russia's interest to strengthen its co-operation with Latin America in the biopharmaceuticals sector. The agreement will enable technology exchange with the Brazilian institution, which is one of the largest dedicated to biomedical research in the Latin American region.

Outlook

The agreement will achieve a partnership between Russia's Microgen and Brazilian's Butantan Institute and will strengthen relationships between the biopharmaceutical markets of Brazil and Russia.

Russian vaccine manufacturer Microgen and the Butantan Institute, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, will enter into a vaccine development agreement, reports Prensa Latina. According to the source, Piotr Kaniguin, the CEO of Microgen, has stated that the agreement will be signed in parallel with the BRIC summit, involving Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, which is scheduled for 15 July in Brazil.

The agreement will aim to allow technology exchange with the Brazilian institution, one of the largest dedicated to biomedical research in the Latin American region, and at the same time diversify export markets. The main interest for the Butantan Institute is the bacteriophages produced by Microgen. Furthermore, the partners will be developing a joint plan for modernising manufacturing standards in a long-term project.

Microgen is one of the three largest companies in the Russian medical industry and is a leader in the development and production of immunobiological preparations, diagnostics, and drugs. The Russian company had previously been listed among the organisations under Russia's Ministry of Health (MoH), but it now falls under a new national immunobiological programme that was created as part of the agreement between Rostec (Russia) and the MoH, and, as such, the Russian government maintains a strong interest in the company (see Russia: 12 March 2014: Rostec to collaborate with Russian Ministry of Health on developing immunobiological drugs).

The Butantan Institute is a Brazilian biomedical research centre affiliated with the São Paulo State Secretary of Health. The Butantan Institute is one of the largest producers of immunobiologicals and biopharmaceuticals in Latin America. The institute is responsible for the production of 90% of the vaccines used in the Brazilian National Health System.

Outlook and implications

The vaccine development agreement is in line with the objectives of Rostec, a government-owned company that focuses on implementing state policies and supporting innovation in the country. Russia's MoH is in the process of supporting projects focused on technology transfer, in a bid to boost local production and diminish the country's reliance on pharmaceutical imports. Furthermore, the agreement would allow both partners to take advantage of the market growth opportunities in the emerging and fast-growing BRIC markets.

Once signed, the development agreement will confirm Russia's interest in strengthening its collaboration with Latin America in the biopharmaceuticals sector. Moreover, it seems relevant to point out that Microgen had previously entered into a similar vaccine development agreement with India's Technovation Healthcare, according to which the Indian company will transfer the technology for the production of diphtheria, tetanus and poliomyelitis (DTP) vaccines and DTP hepatitis B and Hib infections (DTP HepB Hib) vaccines to the Russian company. Therefore, it seems clear that Microgen's goal is to strengthen the relations between emerging markets and, in the process, manage to reduce Russia's dependence on imports from the West. At the same time, the agreement will give Russia access to Latin American markets, using Brazil as a starting point.

The vaccine development agreement will bring to the Butantan Institute all the experience and expertise of a leading Russian company in the development and production of immunobiological preparations, diagnostics, and medicines. Furthermore, it indicates the increasing popularity of establishing partnerships between emerging markets, such as that with the Gulf region, and the recently approved technology-transfer agreement between Brazil's MoH and Protalix (Israel; see Middle East and North Africa - Brazil: 24 May 2013: Brazil's exports to Arab world up 73% in 2012 and Brazil - Israel: 7 February 2014: INPI approves technology-transfer agreement between Brazil's MoH and Protalix for Gaucher's disease treatment).

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