AstraZeneca has announced plans to set up a hi-tech “predictive science centre” in St Petersburg as part of a major bid to establish a strong presence in the Russian pharmaceutical industry.

According to the company, the new facility will leverage local scientific talent and focus on developing bioinformatics, data analysis methods, software and systems.

The deal comes shortly after the company began construction of a new $150m manufacturing facility in the Kaluga region, as well as the signing of new partnerships with Russian pharma developers Skolkovo Innovation Centre and Russia Venture Company.