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Novartis Plans $600 Million Expansion In Cambridge

BOSTON — Novartis has announced a $600 million expansion of its Cambridge campus, where it’s already the city’s largest corporate employer.

The Swiss drugmaker currently employs 2,000 people in 1 million square feet of laboratory and office space at Kendall Square. Now Novartis plans to expand that by 40 percent, adding another 300 jobs.

Mark Fishman, president of the biomedical research campus, says it’s important to be close to universities and other pharmaceutical companies.

“You wander down the street to a seminar or you have lunch with somebody,” Fishman says. “Makes a big difference.”

Fishman says Novartis is not getting any new tax incentives, but will apply for existing tax breaks from the the state’s life sciences initiative.

Gov. Deval Patrick, who’s running for re-election, is touting the Cambridge expansion of the global drugmaker as a success of his administration.

“This is another and a great example of the success of the life sciences initiative,” Patrick said. “It’s creating jobs, it’s expanding opportunities, and we want to keep it going.”

Patrick signed the billion-dollar initiative into law two years ago. A quarter of the spending is designated for tax breaks.

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