From the Wires
Burrill & Company Continues Global Expansion With Opening of Moscow Office
By: Marketwired .
Nov. 14, 2012 08:45 AM
SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- (Marketwire) -- 11/14/12 -- Burrill & Company, a global financial services firm focused exclusively on the life sciences, today announced the opening of its Moscow office to facilitate cross-border financing and dealmaking between life sciences companies.
"The Russian Federation represents an emerging economy with strong scientific talent and a significant commitment to invest capital to build an innovation-driven life sciences industry and modernize its healthcare system," says G. Steven Burrill, CEO of Burrill & Company.
The Moscow office further extends San Francisco-based Burrill & Company's global reach. The company already maintains a presence in Boston, Beijing, Kuala Lumpur, New York, Philadelphia, Rio de Janeiro, Taipei, and Zurich. Through its venture capital and investment banking teams, Burrill & Company is helping life sciences companies exploit opportunities around the world that may reward them with greater value than potential investors or partners in their home countries because of differences in markets, available capital, resources, and needs.
This can be seen in work Burrill & Company has performed for its clients, ranging from advising Samsung on its $300 million biosimilars joint venture with Biogen Idec to helping U.S.-based life sciences companies find partners in Brazil, Russia, India, China, and elsewhere.
"Regardless of their size, life sciences companies need to think globally from day one. They can gain access to financing, partnerships, and resources on more attractive terms once they are willing to look beyond their own backyard," says Burrill. "We are working hard in both our venture capital and investment banking businesses to bring a highly experienced and talented team of professionals from around the world who can leverage their extensive networks to help life sciences companies take advantage of opportunities wherever they may exist."
Irena Melnikova, Ph.D., managing director, Russia, heads the Burrill & Company office in Moscow. Prior to joining Burrill, Melnikova served as director of strategy and external innovation at Sanofi. Prior to that, she was a principal in the life sciences team of TVM Capital, a global venture capital firm. Before joining TVM, Melnikova was part of the biopharma investment banking team at Leerink Swann. Her past experience also includes working as research manager at the IDC subsidiary Life Sciences Insight, as well as being a project leader at TransForm Pharmaceuticals (now part of Johnson & Johnson). She holds an M.S. in chemical engineering from the Mendeleev University of Chemical Technology of Russia, and a Ph.D. in molecular medicine/molecular biology from the University of Texas Health Sciences Center at San Antonio.
Melnikova notes that the Russian pharmaceutical market is underdeveloped, but attractive. It is growing rapidly with some analysts predicting a 20 percent annual growth rate for the next five years. The Russian government has pledged $4 billion in investment through its Pharma 2020 initiative to stimulate its domestic biopharma industry. That has created an opportunity, in some cases, for life sciences companies to potentially obtain non-dilutive funding.
"It's critical to have a local presence and significant understanding of the market, as well as the political dynamics of Russia in order to get access to capital and innovation and be successful there," says Melnikova. "Our presence in Russia puts us in a unique position to assist companies seeking financing and partners in Russia."
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