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Novartis Steps Up Investments in Taiwan

Feb 16, 2012 | By Philip Liu

Taipei, Feb. 16, 2012 (CENS)--Novartis, a major pharmaceutical firm in Switzerland, will invest over NT$500 million in Taiwan this year, with the goal of making Taiwan one of the company's 10 largest clinical testing centers in the world, said Chang Chen-wu, president of the company's Asian operation, yesterday (Feb. 15).

As the world's third largest pharmaceutical firm, Novartis boasted revenue of US$58.6 billion last year, when it spent over US$9.6 billion (NT$283.4 billion) on R&D, triple Taiwan's sci-tech budget of NT$94.5 billion a year.

Chang pointed out that the majority of the clinical tests carried out by Novartis in Taiwan belong to the first-stage tests, which require high technological threshold. The clinical tests will be conducted at National Taiwan University Hospital and four other domestic medical centers.

The Swiss company will undertake 100 clinical tests in Taiwan this year, compared with 70 last year, which involved investments less than NT$500 million. Novartis has been shifting its business focus to Asia and other emerging markets in recent years, according to Chang.

Most of the clinical tests in Taiwan are related to new medicines for cancer, with supplementary items including medicines in the fields of blood, metabolism, and cardiovascular ailment.

Taiwan boasts the merits of speed, reliability, and low cost in serving as a site for pharmaceutical clinical tests, according to Chang.

Novartis, said Chang, owns nine clinical test centers worldwide and Taiwan has the potential to become its 10th clinical test center.


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