Russian biotech VC and Quintiles to join forces on pharma services startups

Quintiles has revealed a partnership with Russian Venture Company (RVC) Biofund as part of the CRO giant's ongoing efforts in Russia, where investors have been pushing to expand clinical R&D and recruiting U.S. companies to aid in the cause.

The partnership calls for the Moscow-based venture group to work with Quintiles to form new biopharma service businesses in Russia, with the VC expected to provide capital to back the startups, according to a press release. Quintiles, based in Durham, NC, aims to align its global expansion plans with efforts in Russia to grow its healthcare and biopharma sectors. The contract research powerhouse and RVC plan to announce new joint ventures as part of the partnership in the near future.

Russia's growing economy and large patient population have been a huge draw to drug developers and researchers. Quintiles says it's been conducting clinical development in the country since 1996 and has established Russian outposts in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Novosibirsk--making it one of the nation's largest CROs. At the same time, Russian investors have been shelling out capital to encourage U.S. drug developers to conduct research and advance commercial programs in the country.

RVC has announced its partnership with Quintiles amid a significant shift in the amount of R&D work that biopharma companies are outsourcing to service providers. And just yesterday, RVC announced its $100 million Maxwell Biotech Venture Fund had set up a U.S. base in Boston, aiming to fuel biotech and medtech startups. The plan is to target companies that don't mind including Russia in their clinical development and commercialization plans.

"With a population of almost 140 million, Russia is under-represented in terms of clinical development activity and over-represented in term of unmet medical needs," Ben Cons, global vice president, Quintiles Corporate Development, said in a statement. "Quintiles' goal is to address both of those issues in partnership with RVC Biofund, which has experience in starting businesses in Russia and capital to invest in the biopharma sector."

- here's the release

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