10 Aug 2023 10:00

Indian drug JV to set up production in Murmansk by 2027 at cost of 9.2 bln rubles - FEDC

MURMANSK. Aug 10 (Interfax) - Safpharm LLC, a joint venture between Indian drug companies Safecon Lifesciences and Anicare Bio Science, plans to open a pharmaceutical complex with capacity to produce 1.3 billion units of product per year in Murmansk in the fourth quarter of 2027, Russia's Far East and Arctic Development Corporation (FEDC) reported.

Under an agreement with the FEDC, investment in the project will exceed 9.2 billion rubles, including Indian capital. The project is expected to create 280 new jobs.

The future complex will manufacture "pharmaceutical forms for primarily hormonal, general and oncological applications," Safpharm CEO Kumar Divesh was quoted as saying in the press release. It will produce 1.3 billion units per year, and will have potential for future expansion, he said.

The drugs will be supplied to Russian public-sector hospitals and about 10% of output may be exported to CIS countries if necessary, Divesh said.

Safpharm has secured status as a resident of the Arctic Zone of Russia to carry out the project, which will involve building a single-storey drug factory with an area of 14,500 square meters.

"The binding agreement on the creation of a new pharmaceutical factory in the Arctic with the participation of Indian capital was the result of understandings reached with the government and business circles of the Republic of India. [...] We continue to develop investment cooperation with India. It is important to increase the number of projects carried out in the Arctic and in the Far East, there is potential for this," Far East and Arctic Development Minister Alexei Chekunkov said.

Divesh, FEDC chief executive Nikolai Zapryagayev and Murmansk Region Governor Andrei Chibis signed the agreement to build the pharmaceutical factory in Murmansk Region at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in June. At the time, investment in the project was estimated at 10 billion rubles.

"Murmansk Region can become the first Arctic territory where a pharmaceutical factory will be built with investment of more than 10 billion rubles. The Indian company is interested in developing this high-tech production facility under a public-private partnership," Chibis said at the time.

Safpharm was registered in Murmansk on May 24 with charter capital of 100,000 rubles, data from the Unified State Register of Legal Entities showed. Its CEO is Indian citizen Kumar Divesh and it is 60% owned by Safecon Lifesciences and 40% by Biopharmaceutical Center LLC, which is owned by Anicare Bio Science. Divesh also heads Biopharmaceutical Center, which moved from Moscow to Murmansk on May 24.