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July 25, 2006
WASHINGTON, D.C., July 25, 2006 - Covington advised Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics, Inc. (successor to Chiron Corporation) in its plans to locate, construct and operate a cell culture-derived influenza vaccines manufacturing facility in Holly Springs, North Carolina. The facility, slated to be the first of its kind in the United States, should significantly boost manufacturing capacity for seasonal influenza vaccine doses over the traditional chicken egg-based method of producing such doses thereby adding capacity to respond to an influenza epidemic or pandemic (such as the avian or "bird" flu). Novartis Vaccines selected Holly Springs as the site for the new facility following an intensive process involving negotiations with several states offering economic incentives to encourage the location of the facility in those states. Covington corporate partners Catherine Dargan and Andrew Jack led the negotiations with able assistance from corporate associates Francesca Muratori and Eva Gutierrez; Richard Kingham on FDA regulatory matters; Robert Gage and Heather Haberl on real estate matters; and Alan Pemberton and Jennifer Plitsch on government contract matters. For more information about this transaction please see the Novartis Vaccines press release at www.novartis.com.Covington's Life Sciences industry group is one of the largest and most comprehensive in the United States and Europe with over 150 lawyers globally. In January 2006, the firm was voted by industry as the top law firm in the world in the area of life sciences and published by the Practical Law Company (PLC) in its annual survey. Covington topped both "The Life Sciences Industry Super League" and, for the fourth year running, "The Life Sciences Regulatory Super League". In the same survey, 23 Covington lawyers were recommended as leaders in their fields, more than any other firm.