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New Novartis unit to locate biotech products

Novartis hopes the unit will improve sales Keystone Archive

Novartis has established a new unit dedicated to finding new products while they are still in the early stages of development at biotechnology companies.

This content was published on October 16, 2001 - 15:38

The aim of the ten-strong team is to identify potential big sellers before they reach the latter stages of clinical trials.

"In the past, the market came to us, now we have to go to the market," explained Paul Sekhri, the head of the global search and evaluation team at the ninth annual BioPartnering Europe conference in London.

The unit was created following several regulatory setbacks, notably the US Food And Drug Administration's refusal to approve the firm's irritable bowel syndrome treatment, Zelmac, and its decision to delay approval of Xolair for asthma.

Sekhri said the new strategy aimed to find products for the general practice mass market while striking a balance with the firm's traditional expertise in specialist hospital oncology and transplantation products.

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