16:14 GMT21 January 2021
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    Russian-Iranian cooperation in the pharmaceuticals sector is on the upswing. Recently, Petrovax Pharm, a leading Russian pharmaceuticals innovator, signed a deal with Iranian counterpart Arvin Biopharma LTD on the production of its influenza vaccine inside Iran. The Iranian company's spokesman spoke to Sputnik about the prospects for collaboration.

    Petrovax Pharm's anti-influenza vaccine 'Grippol Plus' has attracted significant attention among Iranian physicians and pharmacists, and the country is now in the process of implementing a project on the localization of production technology for the vaccine.

    One of Petrovax Pharm's partners in the project is Iranian pharmaceutical company Arvin Biopharma LTD. 

    Arvin Biopharma LTD marketing director Ali Bamdad spoke to Sputnik Persian about the appeal of the Russian drug, and offered details about the economics and investment requirements for the project.

    Asked to comment on what it was that attracted his company to the Petrovax Pharm's anti-influenza vaccine, Bamdad noted that "a whole range of factors" was at play. "For starters, the economic relations between Iran and Russia are very actively being developed and strengthened at present. We had offers from our Ministry of Health and other government agencies on more active cooperation with Russia."

    At the same time, he noted that the Russian-made vaccine's innovative nature was a significant factor, too. "The Russian drug is unique; we have not yet met with analogues to it… today, Grippol Plus is the most innovative and unique product [in its category]."

    Of course, he added, "Iran is familiar with leading manufacturers from the United Kingdom and the United States. But I think that it was specifically the quality of the production technology producing Grippol Plus, and its use of the safe element polyoxidonium, which caused the heightened interest in the Russian vaccine among Iranian physicians."

    Moreover, Bamdad recalled that in 2013, "the American pharmaceutical giant Abbott tried to buy the drug, but the Russian government did not accept its offer. This came to our attention, and we decided to jump ahead of the Americans."

    As a result, Bamdad noted, his company has concluded a three-year contract on the transfer of the production technology for the vaccine. In the course of the allotted timeframe, Iran will prepare the production base, master the technology, and thus gain the ability to produce the vaccine inside Iran independently.

    Unable to give an exact dollar figure for the contract, owing to confidentiality agreements, the spokesman noted that "in these 3-4 years, the two companies will require about $20 million-worth to implement this project." The Iranian government is expected to assist Arvin Biopharma LTD in attaining the necessary funds.


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