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Novartis inaugurates production plant for high-tech therapies

The staff a little look like a spaceman: are you wearing blue disposable jumpsuits, at the hands of rubber gloves, breathing mask and goggles. Four and a half hours at a stretch to spend the Novartis workforce so Packed in the germ-free production at the site in Stein AG. "The biggest risk factor for contamination is the person," explains the production Manager during the tour.

About 90 million Swiss francs, has invested Novartis in the new production plant for new therapies such as the blood cancer drug Kymriah at the site in Stein AG. On the occasion of the inauguration, the group granted a look behind the Scenes. Health Minister Alain Berset got a private tour of the boss of the group Vas Narasimhan.

T-cells are genetically modified

Kymriah is approved for the treatment of leukemia in Switzerland.The patients are taken in the hospital, white blood cells, called T cells, frozen, and then after stone sent. "Here we are able to enrich a part of the white blood cells and alter them genetically so that they can recognize the cancer cells in the patient's blood and fight," explains Dorothea Ledergerber, head of the project of the plant for cell and gene therapies in stone.

in addition to the resounding effect of the price of Kymriah hit the headlines. In Switzerland, Novartis is required to officially 370'000 Swiss francs for one-time therapy. In June, the group had agreed with the health insurance Helsana, Sanitas, KPT, Swica and CSS to compensation. "The funds pay significantly less than the list," said Matthias Leuenberger, President of Novartis Switzerland, at the opening. How much he does not want to betray, however. He hopes, however, that the competent Federal office of public health uses the compromise as a Basis for a universally binding compensation.

Billion-dollar acquisitions

The novel therapy is one of the hopefuls from Novartis and is an example for the course, the group chief Narasimhan the pharmaceutical giant has missed: He aligns Novartis is consistently on the cutting-edge medicine. So he sold the business with over-the-counter products, such as Voltaren for 13 billion dollars. For Narasimhan buys regularly promising drug candidates. At the beginning of the week, the group announced the Acquisition by The Medicines Company for nearly 10 billion dollars. The company has developed a drug against cholesterol.

The new course also has consequences for Switzerland – and not only good. Because the manufacture of chemical active ingredients produced is less important. Therefore, Novartis had announced in September of last year, a reduction. In Switzerland, the group wants to underline, within four years of 2150 Points. 700 of them will be eliminated at the location of the stone. Currently, about 1800 people per year, approximately 2 billion tablets, capsules or ampoules work in stone.

retraining of employees

For the production of novel cell therapy have now been created so far, around 185 new jobs. In the long term, up to 265 more are planned. You should primary be with their own people occupied and retrained to be. In addition to stone, the therapy is manufactured on the US East coast and in the vicinity of Paris. To the care of patients in Asia, the group has not closed as described in more detail partnerships in China and Japan.

in Parallel with the construction of the new production site in Stein, the reduction is run in the classic areas. According to the company, about 120 were issued notices and notices of termination to Employees at the location in stone. "For almost 70 percent of the previously affected positions were already found solutions," said a group spokesman, for example, bridging solutions for employees older than 55 years, or internal transfers.

Created: 29.11.2019, 17:13 PM

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