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Novartis to cut around 500 jobs in Switzerland, add 350

ZURICH May 18 Novartis plans to cut or transfer around 500 traditional production and development jobs at Swiss sites over the next 18 months and add 350 others, mostly in its biotech business, the drugmaker said on Thursday.

Swiss domestic head Matthias Leuenberger gave the figures in an interview posted on the company's website.

He said no other moves of that magnitude were planned for Switzerland through the end of 2018, although smaller adjustments could not be excluded.

He said adding 350 high-tech jobs showed Novartis remained committed to manufacturing in Switzerland.

A company statement said the job cuts were part of efforts launched last year to create a unified operating model that would "lead to personnel adjustments in various countries".

Novartis said in October it was closing some of its research operations in Switzerland and China and cutting 175 jobs as it centralises control over its drug discovery programs and contains costs.

Novartis, which employs around 120,000 globally, was also relocating its tropical disease research arm from Singapore to California. (Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by Mark Potter)

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