Recordati has acquired FIC Medical, a French pharmaceutical company, which will act as a base for the Italian firm’s plans to expand in Russia and other countries of the ex-Soviet Union.

The Milan-headquartered group is spending 12 million euros (including 9 million euros upfront) to gain control of FIC registers and promotes drugs for other firms in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Georgia. FIC’s business is carried out by around 200 people, of which 150 are medical reps and it is also planning to enter the markets in Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Last year, Recordati’s sales in the Commonwealth of Independent States, through the services of FIC, reached 13.7 million euros, well up over the preceding year. The Italian firm’s chief executive Giovanni Recordati, noted that Russia is today the seventh largest pharmaceutical market in Europe and has been growing at an average rate of over 25% in the past five years, an ideal area for future expansion.

Chiesi sales up 11.2%
Meantime another Italian firm, Chiesi, says that its 2007 sales reached 654 million euros, an increase of 11.2%, which represents a strong performance in its home market, Germany, the UK, Austria and and East European countries.

The products driving the firm’s growth included Curosurf (poractant alpha) for the treatment of premature infants affected by respiratory distress syndrome and the new asthma treatment Foster (combined formoterol and beclometasone dipropionate). Atimos/Forair (formeterol) and the antihypertensive manidipine also performed well. Managing director Alberto Chiesi said that the results were highly impressive given “the difficult economic climate for companies which are under pressure to reduce the cost of drugs in Europe”.