Novartis began building its manufacturing facility in St Petersburg in June 2011. Credit: Special Economic Zones.
The facility's construction was completed in early 2015. Credit: Novartis.
The facility's roof was completed in November 2012. Credit: Novartis.
The facility was opened in June 2015. Credit: Novartis.

In June 2011, Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis began building a pharmaceutical manufacturing facility in St Petersburg, Russia.

The facility was built in the Novoorlovskaya Special Economic Zone (SEZ), located north of the St Petersburg city centre. The plant was opened in June 2015.

Novartis’ plant produces high-quality generics and innovative pharmaceuticals for Russian patients. The total investment required for the project is estimated at $140m.

Novartis’ investment in Russian pharmaceuticals

“The facility produces high-quality generics and innovative pharmaceuticals for Russian patients.”

Novartis decided to access the Russian pharmaceutical market by setting up a manufacturing plant in St Petersburg. The project is part of the company’s five-year $500m investment plan announced in December 2010.

The company spent around $140m to build the plant and used the remaining funds to set up plant equipment and infrastructure. Novartis is using the investment to develop in three core areas of the Russian pharmaceutical market, namely local manufacturing, research and development (R&D) collaborations, and public health development.

Details of the Novartis pharmaceutical manufacturing facility in St Petersburg

The manufacturing facility was built on land allocated to Novartis in the Novoorlovskaya SEZ. The SEZ covers a 110.4ha area in the Primorsky district and is intended to foster product innovation in science and technology.

The plant is expected to produce around 1.5 billion units a year. It utilises the local workforce and employs around 350 qualified professionals. Its focus is on producing high revenue-generating drugs and drugs for state purchases.

Novartis’ facility features sophisticated manufacturing equipment and technologies for producing innovative drugs and high-quality branded generics.

Drugs produced at the Novartis facility in Russia

The facility mainly produces drugs for the treatment of hypertension and cardiovascular diseases.

Generics manufactured at the facility include Ketonal, Biol, Fleksid and Persia. The plant’s innovative drugs portfolio includes Gielen, Afinitor and Sertikan.

The plant also produces drugs related to neurology, transplantology, endocrinology, oncology and anti-infectives.

Construction of the Novartis manufacturing facility in St Petersburg

Novartis broke ground for the manufacturing plant’s construction in St Petersburg in June 2011. The construction permit was obtained in March 2012. Construction of the main building and engineering building was completed by early 2015.

“The total investment for the project was estimated at around $140m.”

All equipment was installed before the plant’s commissioning in June 2015.

Details of the Russian pharmaceutical market

The pharmaceutical market in Russia has been growing at a rapid pace, as the demand for branded generics in the country has increased.

In 2014, the Russian pharmaceutical market was valued at $20.27bn. This is expected to reach $35bn by 2020.

Novartis headquarters and marketing commentary

Novartis is a prominent pharmaceutical company based in Basel, Switzerland. The company currently has an operational presence in 140 countries.

The company’s healthcare products include innovative medicines, cost-saving generic pharmaceuticals, eye care, consumer health products, preventive vaccines and diagnostic tools. Its pharmaceutical products include more than 40 vital drugs.

In June 2012, Novartis entered an agreement with the Saint Petersburg Chemical and Pharmaceutical Academy (SPCPA). The scope of the agreement includes the creation of a joint action plan on the development of a scientific partnership, and the modernisation of the system of training scientific, medical and pharmaceutical personnel.

The SPCPA also helps Novartis in designing new medical products on the basis of the St Petersburg pharmaceutical cluster.