Novartis bets on cutting-edge treatments

Nov. 19, 2018

Novartis has spent nearly $15 billion in the past year to step up its presence in cutting-edge areas of medical research, including gene therapy and radiopharmaceuticals.

This is in addition to the drugmaker’s early move into CAR-T cancer therapies.

“We thought if we could gain a leadership position it’d be harder for competition to take us on,” said Novartis CEO Dr. Narasimhan, in an interview with WSJ.

In October 2017, Novartis bought Advanced Accelerator Applications, which makes a radiopharmaceutical for a rare form of gut and pancreas cancer.In April, Novartis bought AveXis, which is developing a gene therapy aimed at a fatal infant muscle-wasting disease. Last month, the drugmaker announced plans to pay $2.1 billion for radiopharmaceutical specialist, Endocyte.

Narasimhan ambitiously hopes these therapies will generate a fifth of Novartis’ revenue within five years.

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