Vasella touts Novartis' diversification


Novartis CEO Daniel Vasella (photo) talked up his company's prospects in an interview with the Swiss weekly Sonntag, saying that it's well on its way to returning to dynamic growth.

Vasella acknowledged that the pharma biz remains difficult, but he praised Novartis' pipeline and cited the new Alcon deal as evidence that the company will be strengthening itself through diversification. Last week, Novartis agreed to buy 25 percent of the eye care company for $11 billion and another big chunk by 2010 for $28 billion, giving it 72 percent controlling interest in the U.S.-based Alcon.

Meanwhile, Alcon announced that it's planning to build a manufacturing facility in Singapore as a beachhead for Asian distribution of its pharmaceutical products. The company plans to break ground in 2009 and have the plant fully operational by 2012.

ALSO: A new study shows that Novartis' Reclast/Aclasta bone drug outperformed Sanofi-Aventis' Actonel at increasing bone mass in patients whose osteoporosis was caused by steroids. Release | Report

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