Marwan Akar: Our strategy has been to invest in local Russian companies

Marwan Akar, Managing Director of MSD Pharmaceuticals LLC, took part in the annual Gaidar Forum in Moscow recently housed by the Russian Academy of National Economy and Public Administration. On the sidelines of the event he told Invest Foresight, the forum’s strategic media partner, about operation of MSD Pharmaceuticals in Russia.

“MSD has been operating in Russia for 27 years and employs 4K employees around the country, not only in Moscow. We have 60 products registered in the country and half of them are manufactured locally,” Mr Akar said. “The company focuses on multiple diseases, especially on vaccines and oncology, but also on diabetes, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. In Russia, we do not have our own manufacturing facilities, our strategy has been to invest in local Russian companies. We invest in their capabilities and build local partnerships. Actually our localized manufacturing has been here for about 10 years already. We operate at four different companies and have just added another one for manufacturing vaccines.”

As Marwan Akar noted, “We have researchers around the world and from everywhere in the world. We have a very strong R&D organization. Globally, our sales are about $40 bln and 25% goes back to R&D investments. Specifically in Russia we conduct multiple trials. We are not a generics company, but a development company focused on innovation.”

“At the moment, the products manufactured in Russia are intended for Russia only, but may be exported in the future, first of all, to the region of Eurasia to start with, – depending on the regulatory framework,” he concluded.

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