R-Pharm produces biological drugs in Yaroslavl with GE Healthcare's FlexFactory™ manufacturing platform


CHALFONT ST. GILES, UK and YAROSLAVL, RUSSIA – 22 September 2016 –  R-Pharm Group has opened an innovative biopharmaceutical production plant equipped with GE Healthcare’s FlexFactory™ manufacturing platform in Yaroslavl, Russia. R-Pharm’s FlexFactory will support the mass production of biologics and biosimilars focused on treating autoimmune diseases and cancer, and allowing for increased access to these critical therapies for patients in the region. 

Representatives from R-Pharm, including Vasily Ignatiev, CEO, R-Pharm Russia and Andrei Demurin, Head of GE Healthcare’s Life Sciences division in Russia, were joined by representatives of Russian Ministries of Public Health and Industry and Trade, Federal Service for Surveillance in Healthcare, as well as by the regional government in Yaroslavl to officially open the facility.

Sergey Tsyb, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation, said: "Modern technologies have an important role to play for Russian biopharmaceutical companies developing new products within the national Pharma-2020 program. Opening of a new biopharma production platform, such as R-Pharm’s FlexFactory, shows that we have the right targets and milestones in place, and that companies are helping us to reach the objectives that we have set in the program.” 

“Since we started implementing the program, a large number of the major foreign biopharmaceutical companies made the decision to manufacture within Russia, and as a result, the share of pharmaceuticals made locally has gone from 4% in 2009 to 35% in 2015. I’m certain that opening of the new production platform by R-Pharm will be a further catalyst for continued growth”, said Olga Kolotilova, Head of Department of Development of Pharmaceutical and Medical Industry for Ministry for Industry and Trade, Russian Federation.

R-Pharm selected GE Healthcare’s FlexFactory to address a common biopharmaceutical industry challenge: the need to reduce biologic time-to-market and increase production flexibility, all while remaining in compliance with global regulations and quality standards. The FlexFactory platform enables manufacturers such as R-Pharm to rapidly respond to local healthcare needs by bringing more biological drugs to market at a quick pace. R-Pharm’s FlexFactory is now ready to be validated according to US and Russia FDA and GMP requirements.

Vasily Ignatiev, CEO, R-Pharm Russia, said: "We are pleased to announce the opening of our FlexFactory that will be used to produce biopharmaceuticals for treatment of autoimmune and oncological diseases. There is an increasing need for new treatment methods which is highlighting the necessity to develop new biopharmaceuticals and improve diagnostics and treatment.” 

Andrei Demurin, Director of GE Healthcare Life Sciences in Russia, said: “We are proud of the opportunity to offer innovative solutions for the Russian biopharmaceutical industry that are enabling the industry to efficiently respond to the targets described in Pharma-2020. Opening of a manufacturing line in Yaroslavl equipped with GE Healthcare’s FlexFactory technology is a significant step for Russian healthcare. The line capacity is 2,000 liters of cell culture per production cycle, and this should make a key contribution to the volume of biopharmaceuticals manufactured locally.”

About FlexFactory
GE Healthcare’s FlexFactory is a centrally automated, flexible biomanufacturing platform. It allows manufacturers to quickly and easily establish biopharmaceutical manufacturing capacity within an existing building or as part of a new facility. Designed to help manufacturers such as R-Pharm to rapidly respond to local healthcare needs and to support global customers in bringing lifesaving treatments to market more quickly, FlexFactory is comprised of single-use technologies and associated process hardware as well as all necessary automation and control components for start-to-finish manufacturing of biopharmaceuticals.

About GE Healthcare 
GE Healthcare provides transformational medical technologies and services to meet the demand for increased access, enhanced quality and more affordable healthcare around the world.  GE (NYSE: GE) works on things that matter - great people and technologies taking on tough challenges. From medical imaging, software & IT, patient monitoring and diagnostics to drug discovery, biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies and performance improvement solutions, GE Healthcare helps medical professionals deliver great healthcare to their patients. For more information about GE Healthcare, visit our website at www.gehealthcare.com.