State News

Novartis gets $486M contract for Holly Springs plant

Posted January 15, 2009

— Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis AG said Thursday it has secured a $486 million contract for its flu vaccine plant under construction in Holly Springs.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services granted the eight-year contract to operate a vaccine manufacturing site that could respond to potential pandemics.

Novartis said more than 300 people would work at the plant by 2012. The plant will be used to develop a new flu vaccine using cell cultures. Existing vaccines are derived from eggs, which can take up to nine months to produce and are susceptible to the avian flu virus.

“This HHS contract builds on the strategic investment made by Novartis in vaccines innovation, and reinforces the significant financial and technology investments we have already committed to Holly Springs,” Dr. Andrin Oswald, chief executive of Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics, said in a statement.

The plant will serve a double function, producing vaccine to inoculate people from seasonal flu and adding to U.S. government preparedness against an influenza pandemic. In that event, the plant would aim to produce 150 million doses of vaccine within six months, officials said.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • chfdcpt Jan 16, 2009

    Justabum, there are no US companies that will make the vaccines. Due to the litigation and sue happy system that we have, the US companies decided to get out of it to avoid the constant harrasment and liability.

  • tobis19341 Jan 15, 2009

    for all you idiots out there how can't comprehend what it takes to open a vaccine plant. product doesn't just start flying out the doors when construction is completed. it takes a few more years of qualifications, validations, testings, inspections, etc. all this is saying is they got a government contract to make additional products.

  • bomanicous Jan 15, 2009

    This place has been under construction for close to a year if not longer. I've worked there a few times.

  • Justabum Jan 15, 2009

    Are there no American companies who could do this work?

  • Leonardo Jan 15, 2009

    Yes...this does sound misleading. The plant news is 2 years old. It just happens that Novartis has gotten a U.S. contract to sell some of the vaccine that it's going to produce in this plant. This may or may not mean more jobs for Holly's not possible to tell from the article.

  • EZeegoing Jan 15, 2009

    Would WRAL please clarify this headline article ?? This, as written, is two year old information. Is something new coming or is this a product of a overzealous rooky reporter trying to make a story ???

  • seaturtlesrule Jan 15, 2009

    Please change course and bring this plant to Wilson...pretty please!~~~

    Peace & Love

  • CrazyWake Jan 15, 2009

    this sounds like news from 2 years ago.

  • EZeegoing Jan 15, 2009

    I'm confused ? Is this old news or news flash ?

  • ncsudan Jan 15, 2009

    This is great new, IMO. NC/Holly Springs is a logical choice for Novartis as they already have presence here, but 300 more jobs + construction jobs, etc. is good. With all the problems with the enconomy these days, I am glad I am in NC to weather the troubles. I think NC is is good shape to hold our own during this down cycle.