One of the world's biggest pharma companies is breaking its business mold for its new R&D center for vaccines. Novartis is modeling its new vaccine development center in Italy on the Novartis Institute for Tropical Disease in Singapore. Officials say the new institute will have a non-profit focus, exclusively concentrating on new vaccines for the developing world. About 15 staffers will be working at the institute by the end of this year with a total staff of 80 after it fully ramps up in several years. The corporate research arm will operate under Novartis' global R&D umbrella, while at the same time maintaining an independent agenda and a dedicated management staff. Its goal is to launch new vaccines in the developing world, striking collaborations with academic research groups as it advances a slate of therapies that can be marketed at an accessible price to the world's poorest people.
"NVGH will aim to become a centre of excellence for vaccines for neglected diseases," comments Paul Herrling, the company's head of corporate research. "Novartis has already set-up a similar research institute dedicated to neglected tropical diseases for pharmaceutical drugs, and similarly to that, accessibility to and affordability of NVGH products will be the priority, not commercial value or profit potential."
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