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Novartis reaffirms commitment to UK respiratory research site

Will slim down and redevelop Horsham facility

Novartis Horsham UK
Novartis' Horsham, UK site 

Novartis has outlined plans to redevelop its Horsham, UK facility and reaffirmed its commitment to retaining a research presence at the site.

Nearly 18 months ago the site was hit by news of Novartis' plans to more than halve its workforce, closing manufacturing operations entirely and slimming down its research presence.

Now the pharma company's UK board have approved proposals to redevelop the site at a cost of £5m, and in a statement said “Novartis is committed to the Horsham site and the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR) respiratory disease centre”.

NIBR is Novartis' global pharmaceutical research arm and its respiratory group concentrates on cystic fibrosis, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, pulmonary arterial hypertension, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma.

Novartis said it would update the Horsham site “so that it is fit for NIBR's future use” with the plan being to have approximately 450 associates working at the site from the end of 2013 on respiratory research.

This is slightly higher than the 400 or so positions originally expected to be retained at the site, but the 2011 cuts will still see around 550, mainly manufacturing, positions reduced in a process that is expected to be completed by Autumn, 2013.

Novartis said redevelopment of the Horsham site would last until 2014. It will involve updating several buildings and facilities, and potentially selling some of its land, such as car park areas, to a developer.

20th August 2012

From: Research

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