The Swiss pharma company Novartis ranks in the top 10 of pharma companies, and boasts drugs ranging from Ritalin and Lamisil to clozapine, Diovan and Gilenya. It also owns the generic giant Sandoz. Unlike its competitor, GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis did not offer free flu vaccines during the H1N1 flu epidemic.

In March 2011, Novartis gained FDA approval for Gilenya, its multiple sclerosis drug. The nod came on the heels of a narrower EMA approval, which grants second-line treatment status. According to experts, the drug could be worth $3 billion in annual sales as the first oral MS drug on the market.

Novartis purchased the remaining portion of eye care company Alcon in a $12.9 billion deal at the end of 2010, marking the end of one of the biggest battles in biopharma. Although many analysts predicted heavy layoffs in 2010 from the company, only 1,400 jobs were cut in December 2010, with the disclaimer that more could be on the way as Novartis, like others in the industry, analyzes its efficiency.



Latest Headlines

Latest Headlines

Novartis places $1B bet to push CLL med Arzerra into MS fray

Novartis' newly acquired Arzerra (ofatumumab) is up against some hefty competition in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). But the Swiss drugmaker has a plan for helping it achieve its sales potential.

Novartis shells out up to $1B to test GSK's Arzerra in MS

Thanks to the companies' recent multi-billion-dollar asset swap, Novartis already has the rights to former GlaxoSmithKline drug ofatumumab's cancer applications. But now, it's forking over up to $1 billion to gain full control of the med--currently marketed as Arzerra--and to test it as a therapy for multiple sclerosis.

GlaxoSmithKline flips an MS project to Novartis for up to $1B

Novartis is paying GlaxoSmithKline as much as $1 billion for the rights to a mid-stage multiple sclerosis treatment, betting it can develop an heir to the blockbuster Gilenya, soon to lose patent protection.

Novartis bets on a slumping Aveo in a $326M cancer deal

Over the past few years, Aveo Oncology has watched each of its most promising cancer treatments flame out, but pharma giant Novartis sees potential in one of the company's early-stage assets, and the Swiss drugmaker has come through with a deal worth up to $326 million to partner on the project.

Novartis and Cyndi Lauper just want psoriasis patients to have fun

Novartis is working hard to build up market share for new psoriasis med Cosentyx ahead of its forthcoming competition, and it's signed on '80s icon Cyndi Lauper to help.

Novartis goes '80s with Cyndi Lauper-led psoriasis campaign

How can girls with psoriasis have fun? '80s icon Cyndi Lauper says she knows--and she has teamed up with Novartis to talk about it.

Actelion's Tracleer recommended for additional indication by Japan's PAFSC

Actelion's Tracleer was recommended by Japan's Pharmaceutical Affairs and Food Sanitation Council (PAFSC) for an additional indication aimed at reducing ulcers in patients with generalized scleroderma, a spokesman for the Ministry of Health Labor and Welfare said.

Icon gets in on the ground floor with a Novartis-backed biotech upstart

Irish CRO Icon has signed on to be the exclusive service provider for a new U.K. biotech startup, planning to help the nascent company advance a trio of Novartis-developed drugs.

FDA spotlights PML cases in new addition to Gilenya label

Novartis has faced safety questions on its multiple sclerosis pill Gilenya before, prompted by reports of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy in its users. Now, the  FDA  is updating the drug's official label to highlight two more PML reports in patients not previously treated with immunosuppressant drugs.

FDA updates label for Novartis' MS pill Gilenya after reports of brain infection

Novartis is dealing with more regulatory pushback on its MS med Gilenya as the agency said it will update Gilenya's label to reflect cases of serious brain infections linked to the pill.