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Alcon to lose about 120 research jobs in Novartis consolidation

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By Bill Bowen Novartis said it will consolidate its pharmaceutical eye-disease research projects in Cambridge, Mass., moving about 120 jobs out of Alcon Labs in Fort Worth that are part of the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research. The move reflects a new strategic direction for the pharmaceutical company’s glaucoma and ocular inflammation research effort and still leaves about 950 jobs in the Alcon Research and Development operations in Fort Worth. Cambridge is also the headquarters for the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research and the shift puts the entire effort in one spot, according to company officials. “That’s where NIBR’s headquarters is and the NIBR drug discovery will be together,” said Alcon spokesman Dave Jackson said. Novartis has about 1,600 scientists in Cambridge, Jackson said. The Alcon operations that remain are part of the Alcon Research and Development, which focuses on drug and device research and development will continue to operate with a full workforce, the company said. Novartis, based in Basel, Switzerland, finished its acquisition of Nestle’s stake in Alcon in 2011 and the Novartis research unit has been based in Fort Worth for the past two years, Jackson said. Novartis has 119,000 employees and operates in 140 countries. It enjoyed sales of more than $50 billion in 2012. Alcon began in 1945 as a Fort Worth pharmacy specializing in eye products. Novartis paid more than $50 billion for Alcon altogether. Alcon enjoyed sales of about $10.2 billion in 2012. bbowen@bizpress.net

Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

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