Having extended its local remit by taking its commercial operations to the Russian Federation last August, Quintiles is stepping up its clinical development activities in that market through a partnership with investment firm Russian Venture Company (RVC) Biofund.

Under a definitive agreement to support the expansion of clinical development services within Russia, Quintiles and RVC Biofund will work to address the Federation’s healthcare initiatives in accordance with the government’s Health 2020 development programme.  

This will include implementing best practices to underpin medical science and healthcare development in line with international standards, the partners noted.

High-technology services companies.

According to Egor Beketov, chief executive officer of RVC Biofund, the collaboration will help to create high-technology services companies in the Russian Federation that can move the biopharmaceutical agenda forward, using RVC Biofund venture-capital investments.  

“With Quintiles, RVC Biofund gets a partner with the global resources and expertise to further expand development capabilities in Russia,” he commented.

The two partners expect to announce plans for specific joint ventures “in the near future”

Unmet needs

With its population of nearly 140 million, Russia is “under-represented in terms of clinical development activity and over-represented in term of unmet medical needs”, said Ben Cons, global vice president, Quintiles Corporate Development.  

“Quintiles’ goal is to address both of those issues in partnership with RVC Biofund, which has experience in starting businesses in Russia and capital to invest in the biopharma sector,” he explained.

RVC Biofund was set up last year with the aim of investing in biopharmaceutical service companies and biotech start-ups, as well as streamlining the development, and boosting the volume, of projects in the biotechnology sphere.

Russian Venture Company invests government capital through venture funds it creates in partnership with private investors.

Regulatory Affairs team

Quintiles has also expanded its Regulatory Affairs business into Russia with a dedicated team of market authorisation experts who will serve the Russian Federation and the Commonwealth of Independent States, acting as the US-based biopharmaceutical services company’s regulatory ‘hub’ for all of Eastern Europe. 

The new team will provide market authorisation and new drug approval (NDA) submission services to biopharmaceutical and medical device companies looking to maximise their growth in the region, Quintiles noted. 

“With our expanded regulatory footprint in Russia, we can now provide customers with a one-stop shop for the registration and commercialisation of new products in Russia and beyond,” commented Pete Lassoff, Quintiles vice president and head of Global Regulatory Affairs.

To bolster the initiative, Dmitry Margolin joins Quintiles Russia as director, Global Regulatory Affairs. Margolin has more than a decade of experience in the region, including positions at Bristol-Myers Squibb and at other contract research organisations.