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NEW SPI PHARMACEUTICALS JOINT VENTURE BEGINS OPERATION IN RUSSIA

 ST. PETERSBURG, Russia, April 27 /PRNewswire/ -- SPI Pharmaceuticals Inc. of Costa Mesa, Calif., and the Leningrad Industrial Chemical and Pharmaceutical Association (Oktyabr), announced today the completion of a new joint venture pharmaceutical company, ICN Oktyabr.
 ICN Oktyabr, a new business, is the first privatization of a major pharmaceutical company in Russia. The new joint venture company has been officially registered with the Russian government.
 ICN Oktyabr is the combination of the newly privatized Oktyabr, one of Russia's largest pharmaceutical companies, and SPI, a major worldwide pharmaceutical manufacturer, marketer and distributor. SPI owns 75 percent of the new, private Oktyabr, and assisted Oktyabr, which was state owned, in privatizing.
 SPI will facilitate a $40 million financing over the next two years to build a new pharmaceutical manufacturing facility in St. Petersburg, the first in Russia with Good Manufacturing Practices standards. The joint venture represents the largest single direct foreign investment in St. Petersburg since Russia declared its independence from the former Soviet Union. In the interim, Oktyabr is contributing production from its current manufacturing facilities to the new venture.
 The city is donating land for construction of the new pharmaceutical facility. Two percent of the profits of the venture will be donated to St. Petersburg health charities. SPI will contribute Western management expertise, technology, training, equipment, technical assistance and intellectual property to the new venture.
 SPI said it views ICN Oktyabr as a long-range investment that, if successful, could give SPI a substantial market share in Russia within five years, as well as an export business to other parts of Eastern Europe. It said it did not expect to recognize any sales or profits from the venture until the Russian economy and the ruble stabilize. It addition, it said it expected to reinvest any profits in Russia over the near term.
 Oktyabr, Russia's oldest pharmaceutical firm, established by Czar Peter I in 1714, manufactures and markets 225 prescription and non-prescription pharmaceuticals. It employs 2,100 people. It sells cardiovascular pharmaceuticals, analgesics, anesthetics and vitamins in Russia and throughout the former Soviet Union.
 SPI sells 600 prescription and non-prescription pharmaceuticals in more than 60 countries. It has units in North and Latin America, as well as Western and Eastern Europe.
 -0- 4/27/93
 /CONTACT: Paul Knopick of SPI Pharmaceuticals, 714-545-0100, ext. 2465/


CO: SPI Pharmaceuticals; Leningrad Industrial Chemical and
 Pharmaceutical Association (Oktyabr); ICN Oktyabr ST: California IN: MTC SU: JVN


BP-KJ -- LA020 -- 1167 04/27/93 09:03 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 27, 1993
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