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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Latest Headlines

GlaxoSmithKline weighs RBS chair to replace board chief Gent

The parade of new pharma board chairs is growing longer. GlaxoSmithKline is reportedly eyeing Sir Philip Hampton, now chairman at Royal Bank of Scotland, to take up where Sir Christopher Gent leaves off next year, according to the London Evening Standard.

GlaxoSmithKline terminates Crohn's drug program following a pivotal failure

When ChemoCentryx reported last month that its Crohn's disease drug vercirnon (GSK1605786) failed   the first of four Phase III trials mounted by GlaxoSmithKline, the biotech said it was awaiting word from the pharma giant on its future development plans.

FDA turbocharges GlaxoSmithKline's bids for new cancer drug uses

Friday, the agency dubbed Arzerra a "breakthrough therapy," a coveted designation that puts the leukemia drug into the fast lane for first-line use. And today, the FDA put GSK's new melanoma duo, Tafinlar and Mekinist, on its priority review track as a combination cocktail.

FDA gives GSK, Genmab's Arzerra 'breakthrough' designation

The FDA will fast-track review of the drug for use with an alkylator-based therapy for the patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) who have not received any previous treatment and are inappropriate for fludarabine-based therapy.

GlaxoSmithKline's great, terrible, wonderful, not-so-good year

GlaxoSmithKline has been having a year for the record book. And that's not entirely a good thing.

GlaxoSmithKline whiplashed with bad news, good news for respiratory franchise

Just after the FDA published draft guidance that would make it easier for generic drugmakers to produce copycat versions of Glaxo's Advair, the agency assembled a panel of experts who voted to endorse a new lung therapy from the British drugmaker. But even with the bit of good news, GSK still has its hands full.

UPDATED: FDA experts endorse new COPD blockbuster from GlaxoSmithKline, Theravance

GlaxoSmithKline and Theravance have nailed down a solid majority of FDA panel votes in favor of marketing their new COPD therapy Anoro Ellipta. The outside experts voted 11 to 2 this afternoon to endorse the therapy, opening the door to the first of several new drug that will likely wind up duking it out in a tough fight for market share.

New FDA guidance threatens GlaxoSmithKline's Advair

For a long time, the difficulty of replicating GlaxoSmithKline's Advair has put off would-be copycats. Despite losing patent protection in 2010, the asthma treatment remains Glaxo's best-selling product. But now, the FDA has released new draft guidance that could change all that.

GSK unloading drinks brands to Japan's Suntory for $2.1B

The two companies announced the deal for Lucozade and Ribena Monday, with a heftier price tag than the $1.6 billion  Reuters first   reported last week. As the news service notes, Suntory can well afford the transaction and is happy to do so, as both brands are well-established in Britain.

GlaxoSmithKline's China probe triggers U.S. bribery investigation

Once again, GlaxoSmithKline has the U.S. Justice Department on its tail. Prosecutors are investigating bribery allegations that Glaxo faces in China, trying to determine whether the drugmaker violated U.S. law.