Sputnik: Your product range includes medicines for rather serious issues that humanity faces at the moment, such as cancer or HIV. What do you consider the most significant and how important is it?
Dmitry Morozov: I’d like to stress that I believe that now the technological gap between Russia and countries with highly developed pharmaceutical industries is rapidly closing. Speaking of our company, our main focus is on oncology, we also work with autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and so on. Hopefully by mid next year we’ll enter the Russian market and then we’ll start our huge international clinical study, a European clinical study of a new cancer drug based on cancer immunology principles.
Cancer immunology is a huge sphere that’s only developing now. I can say, for example, that now the cancer drugs market launch gap between such companies as Merck or Bristol, and our company is only 3 years. I’d like to point out that it sometimes takes even more than 6-7 years to develop a drug. So I can say that we’re at a very good level and the goals set by President Putin are quite achievable. Today I’ve heard a lot of quite interesting reports and a general understanding is forming of how Russia can achieve the goals of increasing people’s life expectancy and improving the quality of life. It’s really important and I think that the pharmaceuticals industry and pharmacologists for their part are supporting it and are providing the most modern drugs to achieve those goals.
Sputnik: It has been said that generics are cheaper and less acceptable for treatment. Can they be a kind of means to somehow resist sanctions and the economic problems?
Therefore, sometimes our colleagues sort of cheat here by saying "we are innovative." Of course, they are innovative, yes, they do develop new drugs, but at the same time they produce a huge number of drugs that have come out of the patent or are generics. This is normal, but it should be treated pragmatically, because most of the treatment regimens, which are now used by doctors, are based on generic drugs. A very limited number of treatment regimens are based on innovative drugs, at least in oncology. We are talking about evidence-based medicine, the effect of the use of generics has already been proven, the goals that we set in terms of drug therapy use for complex diseases are also achievable; so this is the normal way of using generics in everyday medical practice, they must be affordable and of high quality.