UPDATED: Inside Novartis' months-long efforts to scale their rivals' Covid-19 vaccines
In September, Novartis CTO Steffen Lang started hopping on video calls with his manufacturing team to talk, in a rare moment for any big pharma, about making other people’s drugs.
Despite being the third-largest drugmaker in the world, Novartis played a minor part in the pandemic response, having jettisoned its entire infectious disease portfolio years ago. But they tried to step in where they could, leading inter-company efforts to look for small molecule antivirals, lending their gene therapy facilities to an academic vaccine effort and, in an ultimately awkward move, donating copious amounts of hydroxychloroquine to the US government.
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