International drug companies had halted research in the country due to sanctions
Pharmaceutical companies in Russia have increased clinical trials as foreign drug firms have halted such activity in the country due to sanctions, business daily Vedomosti reported on Tuesday, citing the Russian register of approvals for clinical trials.
The data demonstrates that the number of clinical trials has significantly increased since last year. Russian pharmaceutical multinational R-Pharm has reportedly obtained 22 approvals for clinical studies since the beginning of the current year, compared to only seven permits received by the company during the first nine months of 2022.
The number of approvals obtained by Geropharm in 2023 saw a fivefold year-on-year increase from four to twenty, while the number of permits granted to Pharmstandard more than doubled, to eleven.
Russian biotechnology company Generium raised the number of clinical trials to eight from the six it recorded in 2022. Meanwhile, Akrikhin, one of the country’s leading pharmaceutical firms, obtained no approvals during the first three quarters of 2022, but has scored six permits so far this year.
Research activity in the Russian pharma sector has been more active as international pharmaceutical majors, including Pfizer, Bayer, Gilead, Novartis, MSD, Sanofi and AbbVie, have announced their suspension of new clinical trials in the country in response to Western sanctions against Moscow.
German drugmaker Bayer has halted all ‘non-essential’ business in Russia, including advertising, promotional activities, investment projects and new business development, but continues to supply both Russia and Belarus, the country’s closest ally, with health and agriculture products.
MSD had previously stopped supplying Russia with vaccines against chicken pox, the measles, rubella and mumps. It has also stopped selling Raltegravir, a medicine which decreases the chances that HIV-infected people will develop AIDS, saying that it will focus on the supply of vital vaccines that have no analogues in Russia.
Earlier this year, US pharmaceuticals giant Johnson & Johnson suspended deliveries of contact lenses to Russia.
In March, Moscow’s envoy to New Delhi Denis Alipov said Indian pharma firms could soon find new business opportunities in Russia, as a number of European and US corporations have suspended operations in the country.
In May, media reports emerged that Swiss pharma exports to Russia hit a record high between March 2022 and February 2023. Exports of medicines jumped from 1.4 billion Swiss francs to around 2 billion, having accounted for about a third of all Switzerland’s exports to Russia.
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October 18, 2023 at 11:18AM