Bayer is set to expand its operations in Russia, adding more than 800 new jobs over the next four years to help drive a substantial increase in its sales in the country.
The German pharma company expects sales of its products in Russia to rise by 80 per cent to €1.3bn by 2017, aided by growing demand from a rising middle class.
Bayer is currently the fourth-largest pharmaceutical company in Russia thanks to last year sales in the country that reached €726m, with its healthcare business accounting for 67 per cent of the total.
Announcing the investment in Moscow last week, Bayer's CEO Dr Marijn Dekkers said new products and other launches would propel the company into third place by 2017 with anticipated sales of some €900m.
Key products for the company will be Nexavar (sorefinib), for which Bayer is seeking to expand its licence from kidney cancer into thyroid and breast cancer, and its recently approved colorectal cancer drug Stivarga (regorafenib).
It also has high hopes for anti-hypertensive riociguat, which it says could reach blockbuster status, as well as an over-the-counter (OTC) portfolio that includes its new multivitamin Supradyn and Aspirin.
Announcing its investment Bayer was keen to emphasis its commitment to the country, highlighting a strategic partnership with Sverdlovsk-based drug manufacturer Medsintez to jointly manufacture and commercialise diagnostic imaging products.
The deal, signed last year, also covers pharmaceuticals, starting with Bayer's anti-infective Avelox, and this year the firms began joint marketing activities.
"We are committed to Russia as a partner and want to continue to offer valuable contributions to the development in this country, both in business and in the Russian community,” said Dekker.