Novartis' government-backed vaccine plant should be operational by 2017

Novartis' ($NVS) vaccine manufacturing site in Holly Springs, NC, is one of three backed by U.S. authorities which they can draft into service in the event of a pandemic. And it should be the first of the three to go online, according to a new report. It says it is on track to finish construction, acquire a flu pandemic vaccine candidate and validate its vaccine surge capacity with the FDA by 2016 and be fully operational by 2017. Novartis is building the plant with about $500 million in support from the U.S. government. A site in Texas being built by GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) and Texas A&M University and one in Maryland being built by Emergent BioSolutions ($EBS) are expected to be online by 2017 and 2020, respectively, according to the Government Accountability Office. Story | More