Novartis Animal Health Expanding Prince Edward Island Vaccine Facility

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
11 January 2007, at 12:00am

CHARLOTTETOWN - Novartis Animal Healthis expanding its vaccine production facility located in the West Royalty Business Park nearCharlottetown, the companys primary global location for producing disease preventionvaccine products used in the aquaculture industry.

The expansion represents a consolidation of aquaculture vaccine production facilities for the company. Manufacturing processes currently taking place at a plant in Montreal are being moved to the expanded facility in PEI, improving the companys potential to meet production needs based on future market demand for aquaculture vaccines. Up to seven new jobs will be created at the PEI facility.

The driving factors behind the decision to invest in a new vaccine manufacturing facility were the 2005 registration of Apex IHN, which is used in farmed salmon, and the expansion prospects for the aquaculture vaccine business overall.

As well, the recent announcement by the Provincial Government of a comprehensive tax incentive program aimed at bioscience and research companies made Prince Edward Island an attractive location for Novartis.

According to Grant Roberts, president and CEO of Novartis Animal Health Canada, the company hopes to achieve significant growth in its global aquaculture business by 2010. The aquaculture vaccine business is one of the most dynamic segments of our industry, as well as being one where we can extend our leadership position and grow as the world increases its appetite for farm raised fish products, Roberts says. With the projected growth in fish consumption continuing to rise through the year 2020, we see many untapped opportunities for disease-preventing vaccines not only in our core salmon farming markets, but also in warm water species and marine fish.

Last year, Novartis Animal Health named the Prince Edward Island research facility as one of six R&D Centers for worldwide animal health business, which also includes medicines for pets and livestock. The other R&D centers include two in Switzerland, two in the U.S. and one in Australia.

Our Aqua business plan shows growth being driven by new products and expansion into new geographies, and delivering on these plans creates a clear need to invest in new manufacturing capacity, Roberts says.

With completion of the new plant scheduled for late 2007, Roberts foresees an improvement in the companys current manufacturing capacity, as well as the creation of manufacturing synergies resulting from sharing the infrastructure present at the existing plant in PEI. The expanded plant will manufacture vaccines for salmon, as well as other aqua species, for marketing in countries including Canada, Chile, the European Union, Norway, the U.S. and in the future for Asia Pacific markets. It operates to global quality standards.