Novartis has commenced construction of a new manufacturing plant in Russia that represents the company’s most significant investment in that country to date. The facility will produce innovative and generic products and will create 350 jobs in Saint Petersburg.
The facility is expected to be completed in 2014 and will be located in the Novoorlovskaya Special Economic Zone, according to a company press release. Once completed and approved, the plant is expected to produce approximately 1.5 billion units per year.
“Novartis’ decision to launch drug production in Saint Petersburg is an outstanding example of a successful collaboration between Russia and foreign investors in the high-technology and innovation sphere, creating new job opportunities for local talent,” Valentina Matvienko, governor of Saint Petersburg, said in the press release. “We're looking forward to help Novartis in solving one of the key challenges on the government agenda—modernization of healthcare.”
Novartis and its predecessors have been active in Russia since the 1860s, and the company currently employs 2000 workers across the country. The new facility is part of the company’s $500-million, five-year investment into the Russian healthcare infrastructure, which was announced in December 2010 when Novartis signed a memorandum of understanding with the city of Saint Petersburg. This partnership will address the core areas of local manufacturing, research and development collaborations, and public-health development in Russia. Novartis added that these activities may include collaborations with universities and academia, as well as with emerging Russian private business in various areas of medical science.
The groundbreaking ceremony at the new site took place earlier this week and was attended by E. Nabiullina, the Russian Federation’s minister of economic development, Matvienko, and Joseph Jimenez, CEO of Novartis, as well as other Novartis collaborators and key representatives from the Russian government and the Swiss embassy.