* Eyeing Russian joint research project
* Big pharma beefing up local presence in Russia
MOSCOW, March 17 U.S. biotech company Genzyme
GENZ.O said on Thursday it planned joint research projects
with Russian high-tech centre 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 3-5 of Russia's topical
therapeutic fields and technology transfer, Genzyme said.
Genzyme has recently been acquired by French drugmaker
Sanofi-Aventis (SASY.PA) which itself has a strong local
presence in Russia after acquiring an insulin plant.
(Reporting by Maria Kiselyova; Editing by Dan Lalor)