Novartis AG (NVS) to Shut Down Brain Research Facility; Redirects Psychiatric Efforts to Genetics  
12/7/2011 8:14:23 AM

Novartis has joined other pharmaceutical companies in abandoning traditional drug-discovery programmes that pursue treatments for brain disorders. Nature has learned that the company is closing its neuroscience facility in Basel, Switzer­land, where Novartis is headquartered. It follows similar moves by GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca, both based in the United Kingdom, which last year announced the closure of all their neuroscience research divisions globally. US-based companies Pfizer and Merck, as well as the French company Sanofi, have also pulled back on research into brain disorders. Rather than abandon neuroscience, however, Novartis says it will launch new programmes to study the genetics of psychiatric and cognitive disorders, in the hope of identifying new treatment strategies.