EBRD supports Ukrainian producer of generic pharmaceuticals

By Anton Usov


Pharma Start to benefit from grant funding through FINTECC programme

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is providing a loan of up to €3 million to the Ukrainian manufacturer of medicinal products Pharma Start LLC, a company of Swiss pharmaceutical Group Acino.

The financing will be used for the company’s working capital needs, the purchase of equipment and the implementation of energy efficiency measures.

The loan comes under the EBRD Direct Financing Framework designed to offer small and medium-sized enterprises in EBRD countries of operations a streamlined and easier access to funding with longer maturities.

The project will benefit from an €110,000 incentive grant provided through the EBRD’s Finance and Technology Transfer Centre for Climate Change (FINTECC) programme designed to transfer technology in the area of climate change mitigation and adaptation, which was launched in Ukraine in February 2016. The three-year FINTECC programme is supported by US$ 7 million grant funding from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and a €4 million grant from the EU’s Neighbourhood Investment Facility (NIF).

It is envisaged that Pharma Start will use the grant funding to implement a range of energy efficiency measures. They will include the installation of energy management and heat recovery systems, heat pumps, uninterruptible power supply and thermal renovation of its facilities.

Sevki Acuner, EBRD Director for Ukraine, said: “We welcome foreign investors in Ukraine and in this respect the project with Acino Group is important. It not only brings fresh capital to develop local production but also stimulates the research activity as well as the transfer of new technologies. The FINTECC element makes it a benchmark for the industry.”

Pharma Start is owned by the Acino Group of Switzerland, a group of companies specialised in the development and manufacturing of high-technology generics and innovative medicinal products. Acino products have been available in more than 80 countries worldwide for over 170 years.

"This financing will allow Pharma Start to expand its production capacities, acquire a capsule filing machine, improve the efficiency of production, continue standardisation of quality control systems, and implement international energy efficiency standards as well as to develop our portfolio of brands, which is important for exports to the CIS markets, where we intend to strengthen our presence. Certainly our investment programme will create new jobs. Aсino Group also targets to achieve sales of € 1 billion by 2020 thus making it to top 10 pharmaceutical manufacturers in the world”, commented Ievgen Zaika, Pharma Start Director General and Head of Acino company in the CIS countries.

Pharma Start is active in the development and production of high-quality generics. Pharma Start medicinal products portfolio consists of drugs used in neurology, psychiatry, cardiology and general practice. Pharma Start is a regional headquarter of Acino’s CIS businesses and home to nearly 600 professionals across Ukraine involved in marketing activity, working at the manufacturing plant certified according to standards of Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) as well as at a research and development unit in Kiev.

The EBRD is the largest international financial investor in Ukraine. To date, the Bank has made a cumulative commitment of almost €12 billion through 369 projects since the start of its operations in the country in 1993.