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Glaxo-Pfizer HIV venture plans Russian manufacturing

Drugmakers GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer cemented their local Russian foothold on Wednesday as their HIV joint venture ViiV agreed to launch manufacturing in partnership with Russian drugmaker Binnopharm.

The move comes after a dozen international pharmaceutical companies pledged to invest more than $1 billion in Russia to gain a local presence in the country -- which wants to reduce dependence on imported drugs.

Binnopharm, a Zelenograd, Moscow-based unit of Russian oil-to-telecoms conglomerate Sistema , will begin with the local secondary manufacture of ViiV drugs, including packaging, the companies said in a statement.

Dmitry Spitsin, head of ViiV Healthcare Russia, said the packaging was scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2012.

The companies did not provide financial terms of the deal.

GSK earlier agreed that Binnopharm will make Glaxo's cervical cancer, rotavirus and pneumococcal vaccines for the Russian market.

Pfizer, the world's largest drugmaker, has also entered into an agreement with Russian biopharmaceutical company Petrovax Pharm to manufacture Pfizer's pneumococcal vaccine at the Petrovax Pharm facility in the Moscow region.

According to industry research group Pharmexpert, the Russian HIV drugs market exceeded $500 million in 2010, with GSK and Abbott Laboratories accounting for more than 50 percent of total sales.

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