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Novartis announces USD 1 billion investment to build largest pharmaceutical R&D institute in China

Corporate news announcement processed and transmitted by Hugin AS.
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this

* Novartis Institute of BioMedical Research in Shanghai, an
integral part of the Novartis global R&D network worldwide, to
rank third largest for Novartis worldwide

* Additional USD 250 million invested in advanced technical R&D
and manufacturing facility opening in Changshu, furthering
economic development of Jiangsu province and Suzhou city

Beijing, November 3, 2009 - Novartis announced today a USD 1 billion
investment over the next five years, increasing R&D activities in
China and confirming Novartis' long term commitment to China's
further economic development, health reform and improving the health
care of the Chinese people. The Novartis investment will include a
significant expansion of The Novartis Institute of BioMedical
Research (CNIBR) in Shanghai.

"We are confident that our expanded investment in R&D will result in
innovative therapies for patients in China and other countries
nurtured by the growing scientific excellence in China." said Dr
Daniel Vasella, Chairman and CEO of Novartis. "We are also pleased to
contribute to the Shanghai government's aim to establish the city as
the premiere R&D center for China's bio-medicine industry by 2012, as
Novartis is committed to investing to further the Chinese
government's strategy for stimulating economic growth, stability and
enhancing the livelihood of the Chinese people."

Demand for healthcare in China is growing rapidly. In addition, the
burden of disease now includes more chronic diseases associated with
lifestyle choices. The government is working to expand access to
affordable, basic medical services to all citizens by 2020, and
recently announced that it will spend approximately USD124 billion
over the next three years to further build the nation's health
system. Government efforts are expected to extend to expanding
insurance coverage, updating public hospitals and training community
healthcare workers. Activities are also anticipated to help improve
health IT systems and strengthen the quality and safety of
pharmaceutical production capabilities, improving access to
innovative treatments. Novartis aims to support the government's
health reform by sharing knowledge and best practices.

Novartis investments will expand The Novartis Institute for
BioMedical Research in Shanghai (CNIBR) which is currently located in
Zhangjiang High-tech Park. The Institute specializes in basic
research and development of new drugs including small molecule and
biological medicines to treat diseases that are highly prevalent in
China. To allow for this large expansion, the BioMedical Research
Institute will relocate to a new state of the art campus in Shanghai.
Its activities are expected to span work in analytics and biomarkers,
in vivo pharmacology, protein production, characterization and
scale-up screening and chemistry and proteomics, genomics and
imaging. CNIBR is expected to extend and increase its collaborations
with institutions in China and is committed to cultivating local R&D
talent, sharing the world-leading development technology platform of
Novartis and years of drug development experience. CNIBR is expected
to be the third largest R&D center for Novartis, after the R&D center
in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA and the facility at the Novartis
headquarters in Basel, Switzerland, and to become the largest
comprehensive R&D center in China. Estimates are that the number of
R&D associate positions will increase from 160 today to about 1,000.

Novartis also announced that it has invested USD 250 million in a new
global technical center which is opening in Changshu, focused on
technical research, development and manufacturing activities of APIs
(active pharmaceutical ingredients). The synergies gained from the
co-location of both technical R&D and manufacturing enable
significant pharmaceutical process improvements and operational
efficiencies. The number of high quality jobs at the new center is
projected to nearly double, and the facility is expected to be a
critical part of the global production and supply chain network.

This release contains certain forward-looking statements relating to
the Group's business, which can be identified by terminology such as
"to build," "to rank," "commitment," "will," "confident," "aim,"
"committed," "strategy," "expected," "anticipated," "aims,"
"estimates," "projected," or similar expressions, or by express or
implied discussions regarding the extent of Novartis' investment in
expanding its Research and Development Institute in China, and the
period of time over which such investment will occur; regarding the
size and extent of the facilities and jobs to be created at CNIBR and
at the Changshu facility, and the work to be done at those
facilities; regarding potential new products, potential new
indications for existing products or potential new technologies to be
developed as a result of the investments announced in this release,
or regarding potential future revenues from any such products or
technologies, or potential future sales or earnings of the Novartis
Group or any of its divisions or business units; or by discussions of
strategy, plans, expectations or intentions. You should not place
undue reliance on these statements. Such forward-looking statements
reflect the current views of the Group regarding future events, and
involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that
may cause actual results to be materially different from any future
results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such
statements. There can be no guarantee that the Novartis investments
in China will ultimately be as set forth in this release. Nor can
there be any guarantee that the Novartis investments set forth in
this release will result in the construction of facilities of any
particular size or relative size, or will result in the creation of
any particular number of jobs or that any particular types of work
will be performed at these facilities. Neither can there be any
guarantee that any new products or any new indications for existing
products, or any new technologies will be developed, or approved for
sale in any market, or that such products will achieve any particular
revenue levels. Nor can there be any guarantee that the Novartis
Group, or any of its divisions or business units, will achieve any
particular financial results. In particular, management's
expectations could be affected by, among other things, uncertainties
involved in the development of new pharmaceutical products;
unexpected clinical trial results, including additional analysis of
existing clinical data or unexpected new clinical data; unexpected
difficulties in employing or retaining qualified employees;
unexpected regulatory actions or delays or government regulation
generally; the Group's ability to obtain or maintain patent or other
proprietary intellectual property protection; the uncertain outcome
and progress of the ongoing global financial and economic crisis,
including uncertainties regarding future global exchange rates and
uncertainties regarding future demand for our products; the uncertain
outcome and progress of the ongoing global financial and economic
crisis, including uncertainties regarding future global exchange
rates and uncertainties regarding future demand for our products;
competition in general; government, industry, and general public
pricing and other political pressures; the impact that the foregoing
factors could have on the values attributed to the Group's assets and
liabilities as recorded in the Group's consolidated balance sheet;
and other risks and factors referred to in Novartis AG's current Form
20-F on file with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Should
one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should
underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary
materially from those described herein as anticipated, believed,
estimated or expected. Novartis is providing the information in these
materials as of this date and does not undertake any obligation to
update any forward-looking statements as a result of new information,
future events or otherwise.

About Novartis
Novartis provides healthcare solutions that address the evolving
needs of patients and societies. Focused solely on healthcare,
Novartis offers a diversified portfolio to best meet these needs:
innovative medicines, cost-saving generic pharmaceuticals, preventive
vaccines, diagnostic tools and consumer health products. Novartis is
the only company with leading positions in each of these areas. In
2008, the Group's continuing operations achieved net sales of USD
41.5 billion and net income of USD 8.2 billion. Approximately USD 7.2
billion was invested in R&D activities throughout the Group.
Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis Group companies employ
approximately 99,000 full-time-equivalent associates and operate in
more than 140 countries around the world. For more information,
please visit http://www.novartis.com.

# # #

Novartis Media Relations

Central media line : +41 61 324 2200
Eric Althoff
Novartis Global Media Relations
+41 61 324 7999 (direct)
+41 79 593 4202 (mobile)

e-mail: media.relations@novartis.com

Novartis Investor Relations

Central phone: +41 61 324 7944
Ruth +41 61 324 9980 North America:
Pierre-Michel +41 61 324 1065 Richard Jarvis +1 212 830 2433
John Gilardi +41 61 324 3018 Jill Pozarek +1 212 830 2445
Thomas +41 61 324 Edwin Valeriano +1 212 830 2456
Hungerbuehler 8425
Isabella Zinck +41 61 324 7188

e-mail: e-mail:
investor.relations@novartis.com investor.relations@novartis.com

--- End of Message ---

Novartis International AG
Posfach Basel

WKN: 904278; ISIN:
CH0012005267; Index: SLCI, SMI, SPI, SLIFE;
Listed: Main Market in SIX Swiss Exchange, ZLS in BX Berne eXchange;
Copyright © Hugin AS 2009. All rights reserved.

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