* Anglo-Russian drug firm Pro Bono Bio launched
* Collaboration between Celtic Pharma and RusNano
* New group eyes eventual listings in London, Moscow
LONDON, Sept 12 The Russian government has
become the leading shareholder in a new Anglo-Russian drug
company with an unusual mission to develop nanotechnology, help
the world's poor -- and list in London and Moscow within a few
Pro Bono Bio is formed from the assets of Celtic Pharma, a
private equity group based in London that specialises in life
sciences, and RusNano, a Russian state corporation formed to
A company spokesman said on Monday that RusNano had already
invested around 300 million pounds ($477 million) in Celtic's
funds and would have a stake of more than 40 percent in Pro Bono
Pro Bono Bio has a commitment to price its products in
different countries based on their ability to pay and it will
provide free drug donations to Africa based on sales of products
at normal prices in Western Europe.
The company's first product is being launched in Britain
this week. Flexiseq is a prescription cream for the treatment of
pain in osteoarthritis, which contains nano-scale particles.
The launch of the new company coincides with a visit to
Russia by British Prime Minister David Cameron, who described
the venture as "a great example of UK-Russia collaboration at
the cutting edge of R&D".
Two further products will be launched in the coming months
for inflammatory skin disorders, including psoriasis and eczema.
Initially, these products will be supplied by European and
Russian manufacturers, but in the mid-term Pro Bono Bio said it
planned to build its own pharmaceutical plant close to Moscow
and a sister plant in Britain.
Pro Bono Bio is being led by John Mayo, the founder of
($1 = 0.629 British Pounds)
(Reporting by Ben Hirschler; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)