Novartis secures alternate options for Kymriah shipments after Europe travel ban

ZURICH (Reuters) - Novartis NOVN.S has found alternate transport options for its cell therapy Kymriah to address potential disruptions from European travel restrictions ordered by U.S. President Donald Trump this week in response to the coronavirus epidemic.

The Swiss drugmaker said on Friday it does not foresee Kymriah supply issues at this time.

Novartis has been shipping immune cells from European cancer patients receiving its so-called CAR-T therapy for re-engineering at one of its laboratories in New Jersey. The modified T cells are then sent back to Europe, for re-infusion into patients.

“While we have used passenger aircraft to transport our CAR-T therapies, we have secured alternate options to mitigate potential interruption of supply at this time,” Novartis said in a statement. “We are confident that our existing manufacturing supply chain is sufficient to cover our production and distribution needs. We continue to watch the situation closely.”

Reporting by John Miller; Editing by Shri Navaratnam