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Novartis cuts 20% of research projects

Published on 01/11/18 at 10:24am

Swiss multinational Novartis has cut a fifth of its research projects, as it abandons 90 of its 430 drug development programmes, according to Jay Bradner, president of the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research.

The decision has come as Chief Executive Officer Vas Narasimhan pursues a strategy aimed at increasing the competitiveness of the multibillion pound drugmaker.

Novartis’ infectious disease project is among the programmes being cut.

“The sadness about these 90 projects is there’s some great science there,” Bradner said. “These are not bad ideas. Many of them have momentum, but they either are not likely to be transformative for patients, or are ill-suited to the focused business ambitions of Novartis.”

Meanwhile Novartis is seeking to expand its cell and gene therapy programmes, building on the purchase of AveXis Inc earlier this year.

The company pulled out of antibiotics earlier this year, despite the looming threat of antimicrobial resistance.

Louis Goss

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