Spanning both drug substance and drug product development, Novartis said the multi-year investment will be implemented across existing Novartis locations in Switzerland, Slovenia, and Austria.
The company said its early-stage biologics portfolio has grown significantly in the last 15 years, expanding beyond conventional monoclonal antibodies into antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) and therapeutic proteins.
This investment is aimed at creating seamless, end-to-end development and manufacturing environments by embedding biologics development within existing Novartis commercial manufacturing facilities in Slovenia and Austria as well as by establishing a biologics hub on the Basel St Johann Campus in Switzerland.
The idea is to foster scientific innovation, technology leadership and talent attraction, with the goal of enhancing the development processes, targeting faster transition times from pre-clinical to first in human studies, said Novartis.
Increased speed and flexibility
A spokesperson for Novartis said creating this new scientific environment will result in the strengthening of the Novartis Campus Basel, with the company investing US$100m to establish a biologics presence to complement the established NIBR Biologics center.
The idea, he told BioPharma-Reporter, is to foster close collaboration to enable the creation and the development of new modalities that tackle complex biology and enable the production of quality biotherapeutics.
The creation of a BioCampus in Mengeš, Slovenia, with an investment of US$110m in clinical manufacturing capabilities (non cGMP and cGMP) and in technical development capabilities, in proximity of development operations, will enable increased speed and flexibility in early development, he continued.
“The new BioCampus will strengthen the Mengeš site as the largest industrial center for modern biotechnology in Slovenia.”
Novartis also wants to amplify synergies and strategic proximity through an investment of US$60m in technical manufacturing capacity and capabilities at the Schaftenau campus in Austria.
“Co-locating new pilot scale High Density Perfused Batch (HDPB) capabilities with the recently established NTO Plant 1 in Schaftenau, will further underline Schaftenau as the largest and most innovative site for the production of biopharmaceuticals in Austria.”