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Amid rising concern over drug-resistant superbugs, Novartis (NVS) is ending research into antibiotics and antivirals because these programs are not a “long-term strategic fit.”

As a result, the company will eliminate 140 jobs from the San Francisco Bay area, where the work is based, although a Novartis spokesman noted the company will continue to research tropical diseases, such as malaria. And he added that the company’s Sandoz generic unit continues to manufacture and supply many such medicines.


“The challenge we face is that of portfolio prioritization. While well-funded, our budget is not infinite and we must therefore make difficult choices about where to allocate resources,” a Novartis spokesman wrote us. “We must take a long view and focus on areas we believe are best positioned to have a positive impact for patients.”

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