Roman Drai, MD, PhD, deputy director and head of clinical operations at Geropharm, discusses how Russia has developed its biopharmaceuticals industry.
Roman Drai, MD, PhD is the deputy director and head of clinical operations at Geropharm in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Can you tell us about the evolution of the Russian biopharmaceutical industry?
So, we had quite a good pharmaceutical industry back in the USSR, but in the 1990s, it was destroyed. In 2010, there was an initiative by our government called Pharma 2020. So, they started supporting biopharmaceutical companies, [including] some new biopharmaceutical companies. During these 10 years by 2020, we had to develop a certain amount of generics and biosimilars, and a certain amount of original drugs. And the support was by giving some grants to the pharmaceutical companies for clinical trials, because the main cost for the development of any drug is clinical trials, of course. I think that the program was successful, and that's why another program had been launched. [Well,] not had been launched but is launching at this time. [The government] decided to prolong [the program] by calling it Pharma 2030. And this Pharma 2030 will concentrate not on generics and biosimilars, but on original drugs. I would say that we really made a huge step, and now have become not only national leaders but we’re also trying to adopt international strategies. For example, Geropharm and some other companies, such as Biocon, [which is] already known in the world, and we started doing clinical trials abroad in Europe. And sometime, we will come to the United States, probably. So, I think that we have in our pipelines some good candidates, which will be first in class or best in class. And, let's see. I think that by 2030, we will have some blockbusters as well. So, we will compete with European and US manufacturing and pharmaceutical companies.