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Novartis expands Chinese presence

Novartis has completed its acquisition of an 85 per cent share in Chinese vaccines company Zhejiang Tianyuan Bio-Pharmaceutical Co, expanding the company's presence in the Chinese vaccines market

Novartis has completed its acquisition of an 85 per cent share in Chinese vaccines company Zhejiang Tianyuan Bio-Pharmaceutical Co, expanding the Swiss company's presence in the Chinese vaccines market and facilitating the introduction of additional Novartis vaccines into China.

"This agreement combines the strength of our vaccines R&D strategy and pipeline with Tianyuan's deep knowledge of the vaccines market in China, enabling us to better deliver a broad range of vaccines to the Chinese people," said Andrin Oswald, head of Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics. "Our collaboration with Tianyuan marks an important step in our strategy and long-standing commitment to improve healthcare in China by delivering effective vaccines that prevent diseases."

Novartis will work with Tianyuan to strengthen its vaccines portfolio and pipeline, as well as align production processes and quality standards. Novartis also plans to explore new vaccine developments to address unmet medical needs in China where tens of thousands of new cases of vaccine-preventable diseases are diagnosed each year.

"We look forward to working with Novartis to build a broader portfolio of novel and high-quality vaccines to help prevent disease in China and globally," said Ding Xiaohang, founder, chairman and CEO of Tianyuan who will continue in his position while holding a minority stake. "We have already identified several joint development programmes that could be implemented in China over the next ten years, with the potential of launching key products responding to unmet medical needs in the mid-term."

China is the world's third largest vaccines market with annual industry sales of more than $1bn. It is expected that sustained double-digit growth will be achieved in the future due to the Chinese government's commitment to improve access to quality healthcare.

22nd March 2011

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