Novartis CEO: Deals possible in diagnostics, vaccines

Novartis AG CEO Daniel Vasella (photo) concedes that his company is going through a rough stage, but insists that a robust pipeline of new therapies will lead the drug giant to better days. In an interview with the Swiss weekly Sonntag, Vasella said Novartis' recent deal to buy a stake in Alcon for $11 billion represented a move to diversify the business. And more deals may lie ahead.

"Medium-sized acquisitions, which are not planned at the moment, would certainly still be possible," Vasella told the pub. "Diagnostics is a business field worth expanding, so are vaccines and generics."

Alcon, meanwhile, plans to build a manufacturing facility in Singapore to supply pharmaceuticals to the Asian market. Singapore has been swiftly growing as a manufacturing hub for the region.

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