Novartis announced plans to build an integrated biomedical Research & Development center in Shanghai's Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park. The establishment of this site is a commitment by Novartis to conduct cutting-edge pharmaceutical research and development in China.
Research and development activities at the site will initially focus on addressing urgent medical needs in China and Asia, particularly infectious causes of cancer endemic to the region.
The center will become the eighth site within Novartis Research and Development network. It will be staffed primarily by scientists recruited from Shanghai's emerging cluster of innovative academic, biotech and pharmaceuticals research institutions.
Scientists will initially work in a 5,000 square meter start-up facility that is expected to open in May 2007. Construction of a permanent 38,000 square meter facility for approximately 400 scientists will begin in July 2007. An investment of USD 100 million has been planned for the design and construction of the two facilities.
An initial area of research will be infectious causes of cancer. One disease is liver cancer caused by the hepatitis viruses. Some one-third of the 400 million people infected with the hepatitis B virus are in China, with experts estimating that the virus kills 300,000 people in mainland China each year.
The site will also include an integrated exploratory development center that will closely collaborate with basic research and local academic centers to further develop the concept of mechanism-based medicine and leverage emerging new technologies.