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Novartis forms strategic partnership with Lonza

Novartis has formed a new strategic partnership with biotech company, Lonza
Novartis has formed a new strategic partnership with biotech company, Lonza, which specialises in process development and manufacturing. It is hoped the partnership will rapidly scale-up technical development and clinical production for part of the Novartis biologics pipeline.

Novartis has conducted extensive R&D activities over the past few years that have resulted in a sharp increase of biologic compounds that now account for about a quarter of its pipeline. Novartis hopes to use this strategic agreement to further grow its biologics unit.

According to Novartis, the partnership with Lonza offers an ideal platform for rapid development and production of innovative biological medicines. This could include monoclonal antibodies for treating diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and cancer.

Mark Levick, global head of Novartis biologics, said that the strategic alliance with Lonza is a 'win-win' situation for both companies.

"It gives Novartis access to the most advanced technology and processes available to develop new biological medicines faster for the benefit of patients. At the same time, it allows Novartis to delay investments into manufacturing," said Levick.

Under the partnership, each project will have specific goals and Novartis can choose to transfer the commercial manufacturing in-house, following successful development of a compound. In the short-term, Novartis will gain access to extra manufacturing capacity.

11th July 2008

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