Tucson’s efforts to become a center of biotech drug development could get a boost if Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis is lured to the area to produce nutritional products, local officials say.
Novartis is mulling a move to the former Slim-Fast manufacturing plant at 8755 S. Rita Road to make nutritional drinks such as Boost that the company acquired last year from Mead Johnson & Co.
“I think it could be a very important step,” said Dr. Raymond Woosley, president and CEO of the Critical Path to Accelerate Therapies Institute, or C-Path.
“They’re talking about a food-manufacturing facility, but the same people who will make decisions about putting that facility here are probably the same ones who make decisions on pharmaceutical facilities,” Woosley said.
Novartis officials could not be reached for comment Friday.