Firms aim to co-develop vaccines for Chinese market and invest in R&D and manufacturing.

Novartis has completed its acquisition of 85% of Chinese vaccines firm Zhejiang Tianyuan Bio-Pharmaceutical. The roughly $125 million deal was first announced in November 2009. Swiss drugs giant Novartis says the acquisition will provide it with an expanded presence in the Chinese vaccines market and facilitate the introduction of additional Novartis vaccines into the country. The firms claim China represents the world’s third largest vaccines market, with annual industry sales of over $1 billion, and the expectation of double-digit growth over coming years. “This agreement combines the strength of our vaccines R&D strategy and pipeline with Tianyuan’s deep knowledge of the vaccines market in China,” remarks Andrin Oswald, head of Novartis vaccines and diagnostics.

Novartis and Tianyuan will work together to expand the Chinese firm’s product portfolio and R&D pipeline through targeted investments in technology, manufacturing, and commercial networks. “We have already identified several joint development programs that could be implemented in China over the next ten years, with the potential of launching key products responding to unmet medical needs in the mid-term,” claims Ding Xiaohang, founder, chairman, and CEO of Tianyuan.

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