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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GlaxoSmithKline yanks Paxil batches after FDA warning letter

GlaxoSmithKline has its second recall in as many weeks on its hands, this time affecting batches of the antidepressant Paxil that contain an ingredient manufactured at an Irish plant the FDA says isn't up to snuff.

ViiV adds pricey new HIV drug Tivicay to patent pool

GlaxoSmithKline CEO Andrew Witty set a precedent back in 2009, when his company placed several patents in a public pool to help developing countries find cures for HIV and other diseases--and then challenged other companies to do the same.

GlaxoSmithKline shutters lung cancer vaccine study on latest MAGE-A3 setback

Just days after announcing that investigators had red-flagged a high-profile Phase III study of the cancer vaccine MAGE-A3 after failing to hit two primary endpoints for non-small cell lung cancer, GlaxoSmithKline has decided to bring a last-stab effort to find a subpopulation of patients who could benefit from the therapy to a halt. GSK says it was not possible to find a genetically defined group of patients who responded.

FDA lambastes GSK plant for releasing contaminated products

Much has been made as of late of the manufacturing problems found at some of India's biggest drugmakers. But a warning letter sent in March to a GlaxoSmithKline active pharmaceutical ingredient plant in Cork, Ireland, illustrates that Big Pharma is not immune to quality issues.

GSK ditches ovarian cancer plans for Votrient

GlaxoSmithKline said Monday that after reviewing data from a Phase III trial, it has withdrawn its application to the European Medicines Agency seeking to expand approval of Votrient to include women with advanced ovarian cancer.

GSK building up R&D, manufacturing and goodwill in Africa

Lots of drugmakers see Africa as a market that over time can produce some substantial business. But GlaxoSmithKline is not just manufacturing and selling drugs there. It is going one better with a new "open lab" R&D facility to let African researchers work on the drugs needed by Africans for noncommunicable diseases.

Glaxo scraps the ovarian cancer app for Votrient

The drug giant is pulling its application in Europe after concluding that the data didn't paint a sufficiently positive portrait of overall survival benefits for patients--despite an improvement seen in progress-free survival.

UPDATED: GlaxoSmithKline's darapladib team finds hope in a PhIII bomb

No matter how badly a drug fails in Phase III, investigators and the companies that employ them often bend over backward to highlight any positive sign of efficacy, no matter how weak the signal. And GlaxoSmithKline's team at the American College of Cardiology meeting over the weekend was in full spin mode with their heart drug darapladib.

GSK teams up to apply Big Data to target validation

The combination of genomics and bioinformatics expertise now needed for target validation has led drugmakers to look outside their walls for skills, with Pfizer teaming with the Broad Institute on such a project. Now GlaxoSmithKline has set up its own initiative and called for its Big Pharma peers to get involved.

GSK buys full control of consumer unit in Indonesia

Indonesia is one of the rapidly growing markets that drugmakers are trying to tap to boost sales, and GlaxoSmithKline is upping its bet. The U.K.-based drugmaker said today it will buy full control of its consumer health unit there.