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Genzyme in Pharmaceuticals Projects

U.S. biotech group Genzyme said late last week that it planned joint research projects with Russian high-tech center ChemRar, joining a growing number of global drugmakers seeking to gain a local presence.

Establishing a presence is a way for international drug companies to secure guaranteed sales in Russia, which wants to reduce dependence on imported drugs.

Industry group AIPM expects more global drugmakers to announce plans soon to establish a local presence in Russia, on top of $1 billion in investments already pledged.

Genzyme's partnership with ChemRar, based in Khimki, near Moscow, could include joint research on three to five of Russia's topical therapeutic fields and technology transfer, Genzyme said.

Genzyme has recently been acquired by French drugmaker Sanofi-Aventis which itself has a strong local presence in Russia after acquiring an insulin plant.

Meanwhile, Pfizer, the world's largest drugmaker, announced earlier this month that it entered into an agreement with biopharmaceutical company Petrovax Pharm to manufacture Pfizer's innovative pneumococcal vaccine at the Petrovax Pharm facility in the Moscow region.

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