Scholarship and Drug Discovery at Novartis

"In the academic circles from where I came, Novartis has a reputation for cultivating the brightest minds in biomedicine in pursuit of the highest hanging fruit," writes Jay Bradner.

(Originally published Dec. 6 on LinkedIn)


Today we learned that Novartis is among the top three companies in the world for high-quality science, notably topping the list of collaborative institutions in Nature Index's Science 2017.

Jay Bradner is president at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research

Published for the first time in this format, the Index ranks the scholarship of the leading 100 companies across all industries over the past five years (2012-2016). Further, the analysis ranks industry-academic partnerships for high-quality research. Research performance is benchmarked through contributions to highly selective peer reviewed journals.

I can't say that I am surprised, but I must say that I am delighted. In the academic circles from where I came, Novartis has a reputation for cultivating the brightest minds in biomedicine in pursuit of the highest hanging fruit. Importantly, Novartis has a culture of scholarship en route to definitive drug discovery – sharing research early research reagents (chemical tools), publishing enabling datasets (e.g. Project Drive), and working shoulder-to-shoulder with innovators throughout academia.

Here are some highlights of the Nature Index:

  • Novartis contributions to science ranked #3 in the world across industries.
  • In total seven Novartis academic collaborations feature in the top 100 collaborations globally; the University of Basel (#1), Harvard University (#3), Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (#45), University of California, San Diego (#83) University of California San Francisco (#88), Stanford University (#90), Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (#95).
  • With a total of 399, Novartis is also recognized for having the 7th most academic collaborations across all industries in the study.
  • In the pharmaceutical industry, Novartis contributed the most articles in the selective journals tracked by the index over the past 5 years.

I am so proud to see the intrinsic spirit of our science quantified so powerfully. Novartis truly is an elite scientific institution uniquely poised to contribute first fundamental insights into the natural world, and most importantly definitive medicines for life-threatening diseases.

To our associates, congratulations on this recognition of our tradition of open and collaborative science. To our collaborators, thank you for your shared belief in our ideas.

Please find the complete rankings and methodology employed for the index here.

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