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, Roche, J&J and others score backing on big day for EU regulator

Friday, the EU's Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) recommended 11 new drugs for a variety of diseases--the most nods it's given in a single meeting all year.

GSK gets double dose of good news for Breo Ellipta

GlaxoSmithKline got a double dose of good news today about its respiratory drug Breo Ellipta, known as Relvar Ellipta in other markets. Regulators in Europe recommended the potential blockbuster be approved there for COPD and asthma, while regulators in Japan gave it the OK for asthma.

EU body endorses 11 new drugs from Glaxo, Roche, J&J and others

A European Union regulator has recommended approval of 11 new drugs for a range of diseases such as HIV, breast cancer and diabetes. And the nods could lead to final approvals from the European Commission in the coming months.

Muscular dystrophy drug from GlaxoSmithKline, Prosensa fails PhIII

GlaxoSmithKline and Prosensa today conceded defeat in the Phase III study for drisapersen, one of two closely-watched therapies for Duchenne muscular dystrophy which had been vying for the lead in the field. Investigators reported that the therapy failed to significantly improve walking distance in patients.

GSK, Sanofi, AstraZeneca ready to roll out premium-priced flu vaccines

Will a new generation of flu shots pay off big for vaccine makers? We'll soon find out. As Reuters reports, several top drug companies are rolling out vaccines that fight four strains of influenza, rather than the usual three. And they're expecting to sell those vaccines at a big premium.

NIH trialing Sanofi H7N9 vaccine with GSK, Novartis adjuvants

Delivering a vaccine against an emerging pandemic flu strain requires developers to make a lot of quick decisions about dosing, use of adjuvants and other factors. With H7N9, however, China's success in limiting the virus' spread has given other countries more time to prepare.

Brain cancer vaccine data gives Agenus' stock a boost

Agenus has had a topsy-turvy month. Its share price fell off a cliff after the GlaxoSmithKline vaccine that uses its adjuvant failed a Phase III trial, only to rally this week on the back of news about its own clinical candidate.

Agenus taps investors after upbeat PhII data for brain cancer vaccine

Agenus has struck a deal to raise about $6.5 million from institutional backers in a direct offering of common stock and warrants. The financing was announced a day after the Lexington, MA-based biotech company revealed that patients with glioblastoma multiforme, a cancer which attacks the brain, who took its experimental vaccine lived more than twice as long without their cancer getting worse than those on the standard of care.

Abandoned by GlaxoSmithKline, ChemoCentryx will try again on troubled Crohn's drug

This morning ChemoCentryx reported that GlaxoSmithKline has returned all rights to the Crohn's drug vercirnon, a day after the pharma giant confirmed to FierceBiotech that it had shuttered the three remaining late-stage studies it had mounted for the program. 

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.