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Novartis buys Chinese vaccine maker

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Novartis buys Chinese vaccine maker
13:45 CET+01:00

Swiss pharmaceutical group Novartis said on Tuesday that it had acquired 85 percent of Chinese vaccines maker Zhejiang Tianyuan Bio-Pharmaceutical company.

Andrin Oswald, head of Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics, said in a statement that the agreement would allow the company to combine its vaccines research and development strategy and pipeline with Tianyuan's knowledge of the fast growing Chinese market.

The pharmaceutical giant rates China as the world's third largest vaccines market, with annual industry sales of more than $1.0 billion and the prospect of sustained double-digit growth.

Novartis had announced the $125 million acquisition in November 2009 with a $1.0 billion investment plan for research and development in China, to latch on to growing demand and provision of state health care.

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