* Eyeing Russian joint research project
* Big pharma beefing up local presence in Russia
MOSCOW, March 17 (Reuters) - 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. [ID:nLDE7171RU]
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)