RUSNANO and Celtic Pharma Holdings (UK) Establish International Pharmaceutical Company Pro Bono Bio

12 September 2011

Moscow and London

RUSNANO and British investment fund Celtic Pharma, a specialist in biotech and pharmaceutical projects, have created Pro Bono Bio (PBB), an international Russian biopharmaceutical company. The new company will have headquarters in Moscow and London.

РBB is a Russian-British partnership that combines global expertise in pharmaceuticals, international capital, and matched financing from RUSNANO. RUSNANO has supported the creation of PBB by investing in funds managed by Celtic Pharma Holdings Advisors LLP, the total amount of money to be invested by RUSNANO will reach $300 million. Financing for PBB has also come from a number of other international investors. The significant investment in PBB will be used to commercialize and develop innovative medications in hematology, endocrinology, cardiology, oncology, and neurology and to combat infectious diseases. Pro Bono Bio is the first company to be established through this collaboration. RUSNANO will also provide incremental co-investment with Celtic Pharma, on matched basis, in other pharmaceutical projects through its subsidiary RUSNANO Capital.

Over the next 12 months, Pro Bono Bio will contract with Russian pharmaceutical companies that hold international GMP certificates for the production of medicines. Tenders have already been used to select two potential Russian production sites. One of these will become the company’s production base. In future, PBB supported by RUSNANO plan to build a new pharmaceutical production facility in Russia that will incorporate the latest production technologies and that will meet Russian and international GMP standards. In UK, the partners will create a European marketing and distribution center that will also have additional production capacity.

Concurrent with the announcement of the company’s founding, РВВ is launching its first product—Flexiseq™—for treating pain associated with osteoarthritis. In Russia and countries of the CIS, FlexiseqTM will be sold at a cost consistent with the income and purchasing capacity of the population. This pricing policy is in line with PBB’s humanitarian strategy. In Russia, the gel will be sold at a discount of 50 percent from its price in Western European markets.

Sale of the new gel will begin in UK on September 12, 2011, and in Russia it will enter the market in early 2012. Flexiseq™ is the first in a line of medications that will be brought to market over the next five years. In the next three months, Pro Bono will enter the market with medications to treat such illnesses as psoriasis and eczema (Rossoseq™ and Exoseq™, respectively). In the mid-term the company will bring other products-blood factors for treating hemophilia and other hematological illnesses and new generation antibiotics-to the market.

In response to today’s announcement, Pro Bono CEO John Mayo remarked, “PBB is an ambitious international pharmaceutical business that will have considerable impact on the world’s healthcare. Thanks to its impressive product line up and innovative business model, PBB will be able to produce excellent financial returns and deliver its humanitarian objectives.”

“RUSNANO Capital executes certain activities for RUSNANO. It is co-investor in international nanotechnology projects with significant economic or social potential. This project combines both elements. Pro Bono Bio’s Sequessome technology is an example of nanotech that can considerably improve the treatment of range of important diseases which have a considerable impact on the Russian healthcare system.” RUSNANO CEO Anatoly Chubais noted.

 

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RUSNANO was founded in March 2011 as an open joint stock company through reorganization of state corporation Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies. RUSNANO’s mission is to develop the Russian nanotechnology industry through co-investment in nanotechnology projects with substantial economic potential or social benefit. The Government of the Russian Federation owns 100 percent of the shares in RUSNANO. Anatoly Chubais is CEO and chairman of the Executive Board of RUSNANO.
Work to establish nanotechnology infrastructure and training for nanotechnology specialists, formerly conducted by the Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies, has been entrusted to the Fund for Infrastructure and Educational Programs, a non-commercial fund also established through reorganization of the Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies.

RUSNANO Capital is an investment company established in 2010 by the Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies (since 2011 Open Joint Stock Company RUSNANO). RUSNANO Capital attracts resources from foreign and domestic institutional and strategic investors to realize nanotechnology projects in Russia. It also works to transfer leading technologies and draw international expertise to Russian projects and to stimulate the development of financial infrastructure for the nanotechnology sphere.
For more information about RUSNANO Capital, please visit its site: www.rncapital.ruNew window.

Pro Bono Bio is a new international healthcare company based on the experience in pharmaceutical product development, commercialisation and finance of Celtic Pharma Holdings in the UK, international capital, along with investment and support from RUSNANO in Russia. Pro Bono Bio has ambitious growth targets that will allow it to support a unique humanitarian mission.