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Biotech budding in Poland

A fledgling biotech industry is gaining support from government and EU funding

Jane Burgermeister(janeburgermeister@yahoo.co.uk)

Swiss drug firm Novartis this summer opened a generics and production facility costing €70 million in Strykow, Poland, adding to the company's pharmaceutical and consumer health production sites, which employ more than 1500 people in the new EU member state.

The plant, operated by Novartis subsidiary Lek, is the latest sign of new life in Poland's biosciences industry. Novartis is one of many multinational companies that have already capitalized on the expertise of Poland's former state-owned drug companies by setting up facilities in the country. Now, the Polish government has plans to develop the country's own tiny biotech research industry, in a bid to start catching up with its western European peers.

"Biotechnology is a priority for the Polish government because it has a strong influence on the economy and quality of life both now and in the long term," Jan Krzysztof Frackowiak from the Polish science ministry told The...

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