The company, with headquarters in Basel, Switzerland, is a multinational pharmaceutical company engaged in the research and development of products to protect health, cure disease and improve well-being. The company's prescription drugs include treatments for nervous system and opthalmic disorders, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer. The company is a world leader in pharmaceuticals and consumer health. The company was formed in 1996 through the merger of Ciba-Geigy and Sandoz, the two Swiss-based chemical/life sciences giants.The company is organised into four divisions: Pharmaceuticals, which comprises its activities in innovation-driven prescription medicines; Sandoz, which comprises its activities in generic prescription drugs; Consumer health, which comprises activities in OTC, Animal Health, Medical Nutrition, Gerber (formerly Infant & Baby) and CIBA Vision; and Vaccines and Diagnostics, a new division established in April 2006 focusing on the development of preventive treatments and tools. Vaccines and Diagnostics division has two business units formed following the completion of the acquisition of Chiron Corporation: Novartis Vaccines, and Chiron, the blood testing and molecular diagnostics unit. Its consumer health unit includes such brands as Ex-Lax, Maalox, and Theraflu. Other brands include Gerber, Focus, and Sentinel. The company's research is conducted primarily through the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR). The research facilities are located in Cambridge (USA), Basel (Switzerland), East Hanover (USA), Horsham (United Kingdom), Vienna (Austria), Tsukuba (Japan), and London (United Kingdom).The company forms strategic alliances with Alnylam, Avalon, Avanir, Broad Institute, Celera, DFCI, GCI, Idera, Infinity, Myogen, Vertex, Biozentrum, Cellzome, and Genedata, and development partners such as Idenix Pharmaceuticals, Emisphere Technologies, SkyePharma, Lohmann, Noven, Biosite, Speedel, Sibia, Ajinomoto, Schering AG, Dainippon, Genentech/Tanox, and Orion. The company's goal is to discover, develop and successfully market innovative products to treat patients, ease suffering and to enhance the quality of life and seek to provide a return to shareholders that reflects its performance and to adequately reward those who invest ideas and resources in the company.
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