In a bid to align its manufacturing network with its strategy and technology, Novartis will invest $545 million to build two cell culture plants in Kundl and Schaftenau, Austria.

Millie Nelson, Editor

March 13, 2024

2 Min Read

Novartis will invest equal amounts of 250 million ($272 million) at its locations in Kundl and Schaftenau to advance the continuous supply of biopharmaceuticals from Austria and adhere to the company’s strategy of expanding its cell culture technology.

“Innovative biopharmaceuticals are posing new opportunities in medicine where classical drugs and therapies have come to their limitations,” a spokesperson for Novartis told BioProcess Insider.

“They open new therapeutic options for a variety of oncological, cardiovascular, and immunological diseases. The complex biological active ingredients demand a great deal of experience and know-how in manufacturing, and we are proud that we built up this knowledge over decades. Our Kundl and Schaftenau facilities are among several innovative production hubs of Novartis across Europe. As one of the leading Austrian pharmaceutical companies, we are very well positioned to further strengthen our manufacturing capabilities and continue to supply to patients in Austria, Europe and around the world with innovative drugs.”

The firm’s Schaftenau facility has been manufacturing cell cultures since 2004 and has a cell cultivation volume of 1.8 million L per year. Novartis said its investment will fund the ongoing buildout of a production facility with “the highest output” and will cooperate with its existing facilities in the areas of infrastructure, manufacturing, quality, and support services.

The spokesperson said its Schaftenau site “is currently in the qualification phase and will go into operation in summer 2024.” Additionally, 165 jobs will be created off the back of the investment.

On the other hand, Novartis’ Kundl expansion will be operational in fall next year and the firm said it will create 180 jobs across quality, support, and production. In March 2021, the company invested $23.8 million at its Kundl site to service its COVID-19 deal with CureVac.

Investments galore

Of late, Novartis has been making a string of investments across different portfolios. Last month, MorphoSys offloaded cancer monoclonal antibody (mAb) monjuvi (tafasitamab) to Incyte Corporation ahead of its $2.9 billion acquisition by Novartis.

Two months prior, the firm sold its cell and gene therapy (CGT) contract development manufacturing organization (CDMO) CELLforCURE to Seqens for an undisclosed amount. And in the same month, Novartis pledged $85 million to building a radioligand manufacturing site in Zhejiang province, China.

About the Author(s)

Millie Nelson

Editor, BioProcess Insider

Journalist covering global biopharmaceutical manufacturing and processing news and host of the Voices of Biotech podcast.

I am currently living and working in London but I grew up in Lincolnshire (UK) and studied in Newcastle (UK).

Got a story? Feel free to email me at [email protected]

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