Listed as number three in pharma sales, GlaxoSmithKline has had some rough luck thanks in part to the diabetes drug Avandia, which has been pulled out of Europe and restricted in the U.S after global side effect concerns since 2007. The company cut its losses on the drug, writing off $233 million in supplies and eliminating its marketing efforts of the drug.

The company has racked up some charges against its earnings, including over $6 billion in the fourth quarter of 2010 from Avandia and marketing settlements. GSK settled 10,000 Avandia lawsuits for a combined $460 million. Also, the company hit number three on FiercePharma's Top Layoffs of 2010 list with 5,201 jobs lost. While other companies look towards more spinoffs, GSK has focused on emerging markets as its ticket to higher revenue. It purchased Laboratorios Phoenix in 2009 and China's MeiRui in 2010; the UK-based company said the impact of its layoffs would be masked by more job opportunities in Asia and South America.

In early 2011, GSK and Human Genome Sciences gained FDA approval for Benlysta, the first new lupus treatment in more than 50 years, and experts believe it could be a $3 billion to $5 billion worldwide sales heyday for the partnership. But the FDA denied an extended approval and a potential $1 billion in sales to GSK from the prostate drug Avodart. While the drug was effective against low-risk malignant tumors, it potentially heightened the risk of developing more aggressive tumors.

GSK spun off its HIV treatments into ViiV Healthcare in 2009, combining it with Pfizer's former R&D efforts in the field. ViiV markets Ziagen, Trizivir, Epzicom and abacavir as part of its suite of drugs for HIV/AIDS.

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Glaxo's Ebola vaccine passes key animal test as human trials begin

Ebola vaccine research is moving ahead at lightening speed thanks to combined public and private sector efforts, with GlaxoSmithKline unveiling fresh data showing that its experimental jab protected monkeys in a preclinical study.

Feds eyed GlaxoSmithKline's Chinese consumer biz for bribery, too

GlaxoSmithKline may have a bigger problem in China than previously thought. Before news about potential corruption in its pharma business surfaced, U.S. officials were already looking into possible bribery in its consumer healthcare unit. And so was GSK.

Glaxo's Ebola vaccine effective in monkeys but may require booster shot

A vaccine under development by GlaxoSmithKline to prevent Ebola infection showed protection in monkeys that were exposed to the deadly pathogen. But if given to people, the preventive method would likely require a booster shot after the initial inoculation, according to a new study.

GlaxoSmithKline's Ebola vaccine aces an animal study amid R&D fervor

GlaxoSmithKline is looking to set some drug development records as it races to the clinic with an Ebola vaccine, posting promising results in preclinical study as a public health crisis unfolds in Africa.

A respiratory expert undermines GSK's case for new asthma drug mepolizumab

Investigators for GlaxoSmithKline detailed their promising Phase III data for the IL-5 biologic mepolizumab in asthma today, noting that the injectable halved the rate of exacerbations among a group of patients with uncontrolled cases of the respiratory disease. But while the pharma giant was making its case for a lower dosage of the drug for a particular profile of asthma patient, an expert in the field raised the prospect that GSK's biggest competitor in the real world may simply be cheaper therapies applied with proper compliance to the medical guidelines already in place.

New problems at GSK flu vaccine plant will impact U.S., Canada orders

GlaxoSmithKline's Canadian flu vaccine plant has been in the spotlight recently for problems that spurred an FDA warning letter and a talking-to from Health Canada. But it's different problems that the British drugmaker now says will keep it from filling about 30% of its Canadian order for this season--and they could compromise some of its U.S. shipments, too.

GSK, Pfizer partnership wins EU nod for HIV pill weeks after FDA approval

Hot on the heels of its FDA approval, a new combo pill from the HIV-focused partnership of GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer, has won approval in Europe. ViiV Healthcare said that the EU had given a green light to its once daily combo pill Triumeq, an approval that will help it reach the $5 billion in peak sales it has been forecast to capture.

GSK can't deep-clean its image overnight. But it can revamp its websites

GlaxoSmithKline's image has taken a beating this past year, what with a string of bribery investigations unfolding across China, Europe and the Middle East. And as part of the company's efforts to put a fresh face forward, its websites are getting a makeover.

GSK's new Boston collaboration chief goes 'anti-pharma' as he prowls for partners

GSK vet Jason Gardner is the newly named VP for R&D in the greater Boston area, in charge of a small but growing team of specialists at a brand-new satellite facility that will help coordinate not only the 25-or-so ongoing scientific collaborations with groups like the Harvard Stem Cell Institute but also biotech partnerships with the likes of Epizyme.

Cipla's Advair copy gathers steam with rollouts in Germany, Sweden

Glaxo, say hello to another Advair rival in Germany and Sweden. Monday, Indian generics maker Cipla rolled out its copy of GSK's respiratory behemoth in the two European countries, and the company's CEO says more are on the way.