Novartis bows out of antibiotic research, cuts 140 jobs in California

Novartis is shutting down antibacterial and antiviral research at its campus in Emeryville, Calif., which will result in a loss of 140 jobs, according to Bloomberg.

The decision to bow out of antibiotic research is part of Novartis' move to narrow its research and development focus, which will prioritize gene therapies for cancer treatments, neuroscience and ophthalmology.

Ending the research will help Novartis "prioritize our resources in other areas where we believe we are better positioned to develop innovative medicines," Novartis spokesperson Sofina Mirza-Reid told Bloomberg.  

The drugmaker plans to put its current research projects up for sale. Novartis had 32 antimicrobial R&D projects in its pipeline in 2018, according to the Access to Medicine Foundation.

The Emeryville campus will still be home to the Novartis Institute of Tropical Diseases and several other units. The location will employ about 150 people after the job cuts.

Novartis is the latest drugmaker to retreat from this type of research. AstraZenica, Roche, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Eli Lilly have all made similar moves.

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