* Shanghai, Zurich research centres to close
* Tropical disease research moves to California from
ZURICH Oct 5 Novartis said on
Wednesday it was shuttering research centres in Switzerland and
China, part of the Swiss drug maker's bid to trim some costly
locations and centralise control over its drug discovery
Novartis, which employs 120,000 globally, is also relocating
its tropical disease research arm from Singapore to California.
The Basel-based company is consolidating research oversight
within its Swiss headquarters and the Novartis Institutes for
Biomedical Research (NIBR) near Boston, now headed by Jay
"The creation of a unified early discovery research group
based in Basel, Switzerland and Cambridge, Massachusetts, will
be closely integrated with NIBR's drug discovery teams around
the world," Novartis said in a statement.
Additionally, Novartis is creating two new "centres of
excellence" for bio-therapeutic research in Basel and Cambridge
to explore new therapies derived from living organisms to combat
In the process, 73 positions will be eliminated with
Novartis's closure of its Esbatech facility near Zurich.
Novartis also will shut down its Shanghai biologics group
and shift its Institute for Tropical Diseases in Singapore to
near San Francisco, California, saying it wanted researchers to
work on infectious diseases from a single location.
The institute, started in 2002 with help from the Singapore
Economic Development Board to tackle diseases including malaria,
had about 100 staff members. Novartis did not say how many jobs
in Shanghai and Singapore would go.
As part of its new research strategy, Novartis said on
Wednesday it is creating 20 to 25 new positions at its Basel
Novartis has been paring expensive activities since
announcing a revamp of its pharmaceuticals division in
In August, Novartis disbanded its stand-alone Cell and Gene
Therapy unit, eliminating 120 mostly U.S. jobs while inserting
promising programmes such as chimeric antigen replacement
therapy, or CART, into its oncology business.
(Reporting by John Miller, editing by John Revill and Jane