Novartis to invest USD 1 billion in China

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Novartis will invest in research and development in China to meet a growing demand for health care.

Geneva -- Swiss pharmaceutical group Novartis said Tuesday that it would invest USD 1.0 billion (CHF 1.02 billion, EUR 680 million) in research and development in China to meet growing demand for health care.

The five-year investment will include an expansion of the company's Institute for BioMedical Research in Shanghai (CNIBR) which specialises in basic research and developing new drugs, Novartis said in a statement.

"We are confident that our expanded investment in R&D will result in innovative therapies for patients in China and other countries nurtured by the growing scientific excellence in China," said chief executive Daniel Vasella.

The institute is to become the third largest research facility for the group after centres at its headquarters in the Swiss city of Basel and in the United States, employing about 1,000 researchers instead of the current 160.

Another USD 250 million will go to a new global technical centre which is opening in Changshu.

Novartis said the demand for health care in China was growing rapidly, as the population suffered from a greater burden of chronic diseases associated with lifestyle choices.

The Chinese government has announced a USD 124 billion plan to expand access to affordable health care through 2012, it added.

AFP / Expatica

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