Domain partners with RusNano on $760M biotech investment plan

06 March 2012

John Carroll, Fierce Biotech

The Russians are back. After capturing the attention of the nanobio crowd with a few hefty investments in the U.S., RusNano is now partnering with Domain Associates on a $760 million initiative that will invest in about 20 life sciences companies and construct a pharma manufacturing center in Russia to produce next-gen therapies.

RusNano’s new deal fits squarely into its mission: Investing in emerging life sciences companies, spurring the transfer of technology to Russia and creating exclusive ties with developing companies which will foster the growth of the country’s biopharma industry. And it’s forging ahead with billions of dollars in reserves.

According to their release, the two groups plan to concentrate on viral infections, cardiovascular diseases, cancer and other afflictions. "The joint venture will leverage the innovations created by Domain and RusNano’s investment portfolio companies, and will obtain exclusive rights to manufacture and market products based on these innovations in Russia and the CIS," they noted in the release.

In just a short period of time the Russia government has carved out a prominent position in the U.S. life sciences scene. Over the past year RusNano has invested in biotech companies like Selecta and Bind. And just days ago the Russian Venture Company and the Russian financial firm Maxwell Asset Management set up a new, $100 million operation in Boston. They clearly have an ambitious agenda.

"Life sciences portfolio companies constitute approximately 20 percent of RusNano actual investments. We are working hard to spur development of innovative technologies in the Russian healthcare industry," said Anatoly Chubais, the CEO of RusNano. "I am confident that this partnership will make a strong contribution toward driving innovation in the domestic pharmaceutical industry."

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