Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS) To Spend $100 Million On Expansion Of French mAb Plant

Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS) has announced plans to expand the capacity of its monoclonal antibody (mAb) center located in France and the expansion will require an investment of roughly $100 million.

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The firm has already confirmed the commencement of the project with the aim of boosting the capacity at the Biotechnology Center by as much as 70%. The mAb center is located in Huningue, France. The news was initially revealed by Jacobs Engineering Group which announced that it signed a contract with Novartis. The contract grants the engineering group the right to handle the construction management, procurement, and engineering.

The contractor announced that they will install new bioreactors and set up a second purification line that will allow the firm to produce the intended medical products simultaneously. The report stated that the expansion should be complete in the next four years. Novartis is yet to reveal whether there will be new job openings at the facility which currently has about 400 workers. However, there is speculation that there might be some new job openings considering the size of the expansion.

Novartis has been trying to overcome some financial hard times which have led to its decision to cut down on excess production over the past few years. The firm has been straining its manufacturing network and has resorted to shutting down more than 24 manufacturing sites. The company also transferred some of its sites to GlaxoSmithKline plc (NYSE:GSK) in 2014 as part of their massive asset exchange.

Novartis announced at the beginning of the year that it planned to shift the remaining assets into one overreacting operation as part of its efforts to cut down on costs. The company expects to limit costs to roughly $1 billion by 2020. Those cuts will allow it to carry out more research and development without worrying too much about the cost implications. The company also announced that it hopes to complete a $1 billion investment in the production of a biosimilar project launched in 2010.

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