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AQUANOR: Novartis Announces US$2.8m Expansion

CANADA - Novartis Animal Health has announced an investment to significantly expand its Novartis Centre for Aqua Research & Development on Prince Edward Island, Canada.

Construction has already begun on the USD 2.8 million expansion, which will add state-of-the-art new laboratory and office space to support the continued rapid growth of the aquaculture R&D programmes at the facility. This comes on top of recent multimillion dollar investments in the R&D centre by NAH.

The expansion demonstrates the continued NAH commitment to ongoing aqua health R&D and specifically to the PEI facilities.

In just the last five years, Novartis Animal Health has invested well over USD 13 million in our presence on Prince Edward Island, said George Gunn, BVMS, MRCVS and Division Head of Novartis Animal Health and Head, Novartis Corporate Responsibility.

We dedicated a new marine R&D centre at the Victoria site in 2006, built an entirely new manufacturing facility in the West Royalty Business Park in Charlottetown that opened in 2007, and are currently in the process of developing a distribution centre in a building that was recently purchased near that plant.

The PEI facility is the global centre for NAH innovation for vaccines to prevent viral and bacterial diseases in farmed fish. NAH was the first company to develop and license vaccines for infectious salmon anemia virus and infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus, which are deadly to salmon and financially damaging to fish farmers.

The R&D expansion will add an additional 7,200 square feet of highly efficient laboratories, as well as approximately 6,000 square feet of modern and interactive meeting space for scientists, and will be completed in two phases during the remainder of 2011 and into 2012. In addition, 5,500 square feet of new space adjacent to the existing aquarium in the building will allow future expansion of the existing marine centre.

Approximately 30 scientists work in the R&D programmes at the Victoria site. The recent hiring of 14 new R&D associates has added to the organisations capacity for developing innovative new technology platforms and has increased the potential for Novartis to improve their speed to market with new products.

By continuing to invest in our R&D facilities and programmes, Novartis Animal Health is well-positioned for discovering new health solutions for salmon producers and bringing those solutions to market expeditiously, Mr Gunn concludes. This is an ongoing commitment that we feel will help us maintain a leadership position and support the growth of the salmon industry worldwide.

the Fish Site Editor

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