Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada invests $1.2 million in multiple sclerosis research in Alberta

  • Investment marks first initiative of broader health research collaboration with Alberta government

DORVAL, QC, Nov. 27, 2013 /CNW/ - Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. (Novartis) announced today an investment of $1.2 million in Alberta to collaborate with the Alberta government to advance care and innovation in multiple sclerosis (MS). This investment by Novartis, for MS research, marks the first collaboration under a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Novartis and the Alberta government intended to stimulate health research and innovation in the province of Alberta.

The $1.2-million Novartis investment will support research for the treatment of MS. The goal is to look at novel innovations, evaluation methods and care pathways and to translate these into practice to further the understanding of the disease and care of MS patients.

"This investment is a milestone for MS research in Alberta, which has one of the highest prevalence rates for the disease in the world1," said Dr. Riad Sherif B., President of Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. "Novartis commends the Alberta government for taking a proactive and collaborative approach to investing in the life sciences. We will bring our expertise in MS and neurosciences to this collaboration to support advances that will contribute to improving the lives of Albertans with MS."

The Alberta government has paved the way for this collaboration through its longstanding investments in health research excellence. This opens the door for research-oriented companies, such as Novartis, to engage in partnership activities that stimulate the development of innovative solutions.

Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
The memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed in 2012 between Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. and the Alberta government outlines a joint research and innovation collaboration. Under the agreement, the parties will assess opportunities to develop, fund, manage and commercialize innovations in health that support the interests and strategies of Novartis and Alberta. The joint translational and research collaboration includes Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc., Alberta Innovates Health Solutions and Alberta's Ministry of Enterprise and Advanced Education. Areas for collaboration identified in the MOU include neurosciences, autoimmune diseases and inflammation, oncology, molecular diagnostics, pulmonary and cardiac diseases, diabetes, and vaccines.

About Novartis
Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc., a leader in the healthcare field, is committed to the discovery, development and marketing of innovative products to improve the well-being of all Canadians. In 2012, the company invested close to $100 million in research and development in Canada. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. employs more than 600 people in Canada. For further information, please consult www.novartis.ca.

Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. is an affiliate of Novartis AG, which provides innovative healthcare solutions that address the evolving needs of patients and societies. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis offers a diversified portfolio to best meet these needs: innovative medicines, eye care, cost-saving generic pharmaceuticals, preventive vaccines and diagnostic tools, over-the-counter and animal health products. Novartis is the only global company with leading positions in these areas. In 2012, the Group achieved net sales of USD 56.7 billion, while R&D throughout the Group amounted to approximately USD 9.3 billion (USD 9.1 billion excluding impairment and amortization charges). Novartis Group companies employ approximately 133,000 full-time equivalent associates and operate in more than 140 countries around the world. For more information, please visit http://www.novartis.com.


1 Warren SA, Svenson LW, Warren KG, Contribution of incidence to increasing prevalence of multiple sclerosis in Alberta, Canada, Multiple Sclerosis Journal, August 2008; 14:7, 872-879, accessed on November 12, 2013 at: http://msj.sagepub.com/content/14/7/872.short

SOURCE Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc.

For further information:

Novartis Media Relations

Andrea Gilpin, Ph.D, MBA
Director, Corporate Communications
Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc.
+1 514 633 7873
andrea.gilpin@novartis.com