AZ is planning to spend $1.2 billion to increase its presence in the fast emerging Russian market over the next 5 years. Its latest project is an investment in advanced software to predict the safety and efficacy of drugs. It will open the Predictive Science Center in St. Petersburg and plans to employ Russians to develop biofinformatics, data analysis capabilities and new software tools. AZ will have 30 of its own employees at the center as well and is placing a bet that advanced computer systems will make its R&D more efficient.
Not surprisingly, the plan is backed by the Russian government no doubt eager for the investment and increased AZ presence. AZ is also building a $150 M drug manufacturing plant in the Kaluga region in Russia as part of its expansion.
"Russia is a dynamic economy where our growing investments will help us to offer to patients AstraZeneca's portfolio of innovative medicines," said AZ's CEO David Brennan. See Fierce Biotech.