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Novartis AG employees in Shanghai have a new $1 billion home. The seven-building campus on the outskirts of Shanghai is accented by bamboo staircases and tree-lined courtyards. The company said the 1,300-person facility will be its third major research center, after Basel, Switzerland, and Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Foreign drugmakers are investing in China because of surging demand for medicines as the incidence of chronic conditions like cancer, heart disease and diabetes rise. The government has provided incentives to encourage more investment in innovation, while Chinese consumers are spending more on health care as their incomes rise.
“The commitment that Novartis is making in China is bigger than anybody else in the industry,” Chief Executive Officer Joe Jimenez said in an interview. “We expect Shanghai to ramp up relatively quickly” in terms of drug discovery. The Novartis research center will further focus on diseases more prevalent in China, such as lung, liver and gastric cancer. Having new medicines in those areas in coming years will help the Basel-based company to secure a toehold in the world’s second-largest pharmaceutical market after the U.S.
By Bloomberg News (Bloomberg)