Biotest secures distribution of products in Russia/Greece


Biotest is aiming to further expand its already strong position in the Russian market through a distribution agreement with Merz Pharma. Merz will sell the following products through its Russian subsidiary: Intratect, indicated mainly for the treatment of antibody deficiency and autoimmune diseases; Pentaglobin, used for the treatment of bacterial infections (concomitantly with antibiotics) and for immunoglobulin substitution in immunosuppressed patients and severe secondary antibody deficiency syndrome; Neohepatect, used for the post-exposure prophylaxis of hepatitis B infection; Neocytotect, used for the treatment of cytomegalovirus; and Albiomin, human albumin used for volume replacement when plasma protein has been lost and to stabilise oncotic pressure. The distribution agreement came into effect on 1st January.

Biotest will continue to be represented in Russia through its representative office. Its core activities will comprise drug approvals, pharmacovigilance and scientific medical advice. Biotest will continue to directly offer its Factor VIII product, Haemoctin, in state tenders through a Russian distributor.

The Russian pharmaceutical market has strong long-term growth prospects, owing to the size of the population and a still-low drug consumption rate. The country also faces major healthcare challenges. The development of the Russian pharmaceutical and broader healthcare market has been subject to a number of shocks. However, looking forward, the new mandatory medicines insurance programme, which is scheduled for 2016 (with some early phase-in as early as 2014), promises opportunities and potential further volatility if it is implemented badly, perhaps one reason officials have repeatedly delayed its implementation.

The market is heavily reliant on imports, which account for at least 75 per cent of the market in value terms and over 90 per cent of the DLO market value over the past few years. In 2011 pharmaceutical imports we were worth US$12,730.75 million, with US$1,305.50 million of that being antisera and other blood fractions. Business Monitor International forecasts total pharmaceutical imports to grow to US$19,568.56 million by 2017.

Biotest also announced that it has suspended all sales activities in Greece as per end of September 2012. In July 2012, Biotest announced that it would stop making products for Greece after its customers there failed to make payments, chief financial officer, Michael Ramroth, told Börsen-Zeitung. The company took the decision as customers failed to pay bills worth millions of Euros. Greece has an outstanding bill of EUR 7.0 million (US$8.85 million) on the company's books for 2011, Ramroth said. In April, the company told the Greek Ministry of Health that it was likely to exit the market within three months if unpaid bills were not settled.

According to Reuters, in July 2012, the head of the European drug industry wrote to EU leaders urging them to ensure the provision of vital medicines to economically troubled countries within the continent. GlaxoSmithKline's Chief Executive, Andrew Witty, iterated that failure to do so would prove economically damaging to the region. The ongoing economic crisis within Europe has left drugmakers in a moral quandary as they are obliged to provide drugs even if they suffer financially as a consequence. In economically troubled countries such as Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain, drug companies have contributed more than EUR 7.0 billion (US$8.80 billion) to balancing health budgets during 2010 and 2011.

In order to provide plasma proteins to Greek patients, Biotest has announced that Vianex will take over registration and distribution for Biotest in the country. Based on Biotest's contractual agreement, Biotest is not only able to secure the supply for patients in Greece, but to also have its payments safeguarded in case of a continuously difficult financial situation. In order to show continuity towards its customers and also to take responsibility for the Biotest employees, Vianex has taken over all available employees of Biotest Hellas. Vianex will start selling Biotest products as soon as the registration is transferred. Greece represents a smaller market for Biotest. In 2011, total pharmaceutical imports to Greece were US$4,046.86 million, with US$290.71 million of that being antisera and other blood fractions. BMI estimates total pharmaceutical imports to fall to US$3,181.98 million in 2017, as the country's financial crisis looks set to worsen.



Agreement Information:
Agreement Status: New Date Announced: 21 Jan 2013
Date Last Reported: Duration:
Est Total Value: Investment To Date:
Agreement Type: Distribution
Generic / Brand Name: Pentaglobin Neohepatect Neocytotect
Therapeutic Area: Antineoplastic and Immunomodulating Agents Blood and Blood Forming Organs
Indication: Immunodeficiency Bacterial infections Hepatitis B Cytomegalovirus Blood disorders
Techonology/Field: N/A



Agreement Information:
Agreement Status: New Date Announced: 21 Jan 2013
Date Last Reported: Duration:
Est Total Value: Investment To Date:
Agreement Type: Distribution
Generic / Brand Name: Pentaglobin Neohepatect Neocytotect
Therapeutic Area: Antineoplastic and Immunomodulating Agents Blood and Blood Forming Organs
Indication: Immunodeficiency Bacterial infections Hepatitis B Cytomegalovirus Blood disorders
Techonology/Field: N/A
This article is tagged to:
Sector: Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare
Geography: Germany, Russia, Germany, Greece, Russia, Russia