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.

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Latest Headlines

New Novartis director will implement Bexsero on U.K. immunization program

Dr. John Porter, formerly the U.K. medical team lead for Pfizer, will become Novartis' medical affairs director for Northern Europe.

Alnylam COO on Novartis RNAi pullout: Big Pharma has 'never been able to innovate'

The COO of RNAi specialist Alnylam was critical of Big Pharma in the wake of Novartis' decision to slam the breaks on its RNAi research. The news made investors nervous about the future of the promising, but nascent technology and Alnylam stock price is down more than 20% in the last week.

Novartis' gain is consumers' $900M loss from stalled Ranbaxy generics

The inability of Ranbaxy Laboratories to get its generic of heart drug Diovan to market for 18 months has been a boon for Novartis. Not so much for consumers.

Novartis marks 235 admin jobs for deletion amid companywide restructuring

Novartis is ticking off another 235 boxes on its job cuts list. The Swiss drugmaker plans to lay off 215 administrative and support staff in New Jersey by the end of June, and another 20 in similar positions elsewhere in the U.S., the Star-Ledger reports.

ThromboGenics is picking between billion-dollar bids, report says

Just over a month into its search for "strategic options," ThromboGenics has rounded up a bevy of high-dollar offers that could value the company at as much as $1.3 billion, Bloomberg reports, courted by drugmakers who see promise in its underperforming eye drug.

Novartis backs away from once-ambitious RNAi research

Novartis is shuttering a large part of its once-ambitious RNAi research effort in Boston, FierceBiotech has learned.

Novartis slams the brakes on once-ambitious RNAi development efforts

Novartis is shuttering a large part of its once-ambitious RNAi research effort in Boston, FierceBiotech has learned. The pharma giant, which has extensive research operations in the Boston area, confirmed the decision, saying that the lingering problems associated with delivering these therapies tied to the small number of relevant targets they could shoot for drove the move.

Cytos hits the self-destruct button as PhIIb asthma study bombs

After 19 years of fruitless drug development work capped by the failure of a Phase IIb study of its experimental asthma therapy, Cytos Biotechnology is ready to call it quits.

Novartis' government-backed vaccine plant should be operational by 2017

Novartis' vaccine manufacturing site in Holly Springs, NC, is one of three backed by U.S. authorities which they can draft into service in the event of a pandemic. And it should be the first of the three to go online, according to a new report.

Report: Emergency flu vaccine manufacturing site will be online by 2017

One of three manufacturing sites commissioned by the Department of Health and Human Services to quickly develop and produce flu vaccines in the case of a pandemic is expected to be fully operational by 2017, officials say.