Novartis: China's big R&D win may be India's loss

Novartis' recent billion-dollar bet on China R&D has some big implications for India. With the drug giant waging a high-stakes court fight over patent protection for the cancer blockbuster Gleevec, Novartis CEO Daniel Vasella (photo) says that the subcontinent's reputation as a low-cost R&D center is losing its luster.

"There is a significant difference between India and China--in the political system, in the decision making processes, in the complexities of the processes and in the continuity," Vasella tells the Economic Times. "I think India has potential but things take longer to get done. It may come as a surprise but China has made tremendous progress in IP and is enforcing IP in pharmaceuticals." And the CEO made it clear that a high court ruling on Gleevec could prove a decisive turning point for India's R&D industry.

About a week ago Novartis spelled out ambitious plans to pump $1 billion over the next five years into its R&D operations in China. The plan calls for hundreds of new hires and new research facilities in Changshu.

- here's the story from the Economic Times