Once with lofty plans, Novartis now closing East Bay unit, cutting 140 jobs

Novartis AG will shutter its infectious diseases unit, closing an operation it moved from the Boston area to Emeryville seven years ago and cutting about 140 jobs.

The Switzerland-based company (NYSE: NVS) told employees Wednesday that it will shut down antibacterial and antiviral research — a move that affects a number of related work, such as pharmacology, protein sciences and informatics — while retaining the 150 employees who make up a tropical diseases unit the company moved a year ago…