Abbott Labs strikes drug pact with Russian R&D group

Just days after Pfizer ($PFE) announced plans to explore a drug research collaboration with Russian pharmaceutical investment and R&D group ChemRar High Tech Center, Abbott Laboratories ($ABT) has stepped up to ink a pact of its own with the Russians.

The ChemDiv Research Institute--CDRI--at the ChemRar Hi-Tech Center plans to explore improved formulations of Abbott's existing drugs while pursuing new work together on small molecules and viral disease treatments.

The Russian government has been pouring money into its pharma industry, promising to vault ahead with new technologies and pumping money into a slate of drug developers in the U.S. and Europe working in nanotechnology, pharma R&D and more. CROs like Quintiles have been stepping up as well, expanding their work in Russia as new programs are launched. And Abbott has been increasing its profile in Russia over the past 8 years, anxious to tap into the emerging country's growing pharma market.

"CDRI is actively involved in both developing new molecules and improving existing drugs, covering the full cycle from pre-clinical development through manufacturing. Our collaboration with global healthcare leader Abbott will draw on the company's expertise and technologies and Russia's significant scientific potential to effectively develop new products of the highest quality based on existing drugs," said Nikolay Savchuk, Chairman at CDRI.

- here's the press release