Novartis opens new TB research center in Singapore

January 31, 2003

Novartis AG has launched its Novartis Institute for Tropical Diseases (NITD) in Singapore with a two-day symposium.

Dr. Paul Herrling, Director of NITD said, "Novartis' pioneering new institute in Singapore is a clear response to the growing global health epidemics. Rather than simply donate funds to the global health fight, Novartis elected to contribute pure, hard science directed to TB and Dengue – we hope to collaborate with the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development to manage the rest of the R&D chain for TB therapies. Our goal is that these compounds will be available without royalties in endemic countries."

TB Alliance CEO Dr. Maria Freire attended the inaugural symposium held in January and said, “I’d like to see other companies do this, since their expertise in drug development will be a key asset to public-private partnerships like the TB Alliance.”

NITD was formed as $122MM USD non-profit joint venture between the company and the Government of Singapore. While staffing up now, ultimately some 70 NITD scientists will focus on TB and dengue fever.