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STAT Plus: Launching a new gene therapy will be the biggest test yet for Novartis CEO Narasimhan

At the start of his second year on the job, Novartis CEO Vas Narasimhan is about to face his biggest test yet: the launch of a breakthrough gene therapy on which he spent $8.7 billion of his company’s cash last April.

Narasimhan, at 42 the youngest chief executive of a major pharmaceutical firm, spent his first year in command (he took over last February) talking about big goals — he wants to upgrade the company’s culture, turning the still-staid Swiss company into something more entrepreneurial — and making deals.

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