Novartis AG to expand its production capacity to for the production of blood pressure treatments at its Schweizerhalle plant near Basel

Novartis AG will expand its production capacity at its Schweizerhalle plant near Basel for the production of blood pressure treatments Diovan, Exforge and Tekturna/Rasilez. It plans investments of around 300 mln sfr. This investment will create around 80 new jobs in the Basel region.

Renin inhibitor Rasilez was approved for use in the European Union. Rasilez (aliskiren), the first new type of high blood pressure medicine in more than a decade, has been approved for use in the European Union. The approval applies to all 27 EU member states plus Iceland and Norway. 

Rasilez is the first in a new class of medicines called direct renin inhibitors. It acts by directly inhibiting renin, an enzyme that triggers a process that can lead to high blood pressure. This new medication received its first approval in March 2007 from the US Food and Drug Administration under the brand name Tekturna, and has also been approved in Switzerland.

Experts estimate that nearly one billion people globally have high blood pressure and that nearly 70 per cent of these people do not reach healthy blood pressure levels. As a result, they live at risk of complications like heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, blindness and death, creating a strong need for new high blood pressure therapies.