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

No big thrill from Novartis in Q1, just a 'solid' $14B in sales

After Tuesday's precedent-setting deal announcement, today's earnings release from Novartis had to be an anticlimax. And it was: The results were described using unexciting words like "solid" and "flat" and "nice" and "largely in line."

GSK's R&D staff hit with trade rumors spurred by Novartis' cancer pact

GlaxoSmithKline hasn't spelled out exactly how its big deal with Novartis will impact individual workers. But the rumor mill has it that more than 100 investigators in cancer R&D in Collegeville, PA, are about to become Novartis workers.

Novartis, GSK deal puts the spotlight on a narrowing R&D focus

The big trend in Big Pharma R&D has been to cut back significantly in key areas where they felt they faced extraordinarily high risks--a particular problem in the central nervous system field, where trial failures have been more the norm than the exception.

Novartis bids farewell to vaccines with $7.1B sale to GSK

After years of struggles and months of speculation, Novartis is finally kissing its vaccines unit goodbye. As part of a company-wide revamp, the Swiss drugmaker will send the division to the U.K., where GlaxoSmithKline will be waiting with open arms to take on a vaccines business that will give it an edge in meningitis and bolster its pipeline.

Novartis, GSK team up in consumer JV to save big money, gain big scale

Novartis CEO Joe Jimenez is on record saying he's "a big fan" of the company's consumer health business. But that doesn't mean he has to run it. The Swiss drugmaker gets to have its consumer health and hand it off, too, in a new joint venture with GlaxoSmithKline.

Novartis close on deal to sell contract patchmaker LTS Lohmann

In addition to all of the other deals that Novartis announced today, an agreement to sell deal contract manufacturer LTS Lohmann is reportedly close, with private equity firm Nordic Capital expected to get it for about $1.7 billion, Bloomberg reported.

Novartis deals with GSK and Lilly switch up manufacturing landscape

The full manufacturing implications of the complex three-way business swaps and sales that Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline and Eli Lilly announced today will take some time to sort out.

GlaxoSmithKline pledges $7.1B to add Novartis vaccines to its leading lineup

In an announcement full of surprises from Novartis and GlaxoSmithKline, the sale of the Swiss company's vaccines division to Glaxo may have been the least surprising part.

$16B deal for GlaxoSmithKline oncology meds turns Novartis into cancer heavyweight

Why would GlaxoSmithKline sell most of its cancer business to Novartis? In today's deal announcement, that particular sale stands up for questioning.  

GlaxoSmithKline punts its cancer R&D work in Big Pharma swap and shop

Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline and Eli Lilly have hammered out a pact to swap, sell and partner on a group of four different divisions, realigning the corporate and marketing landscape for each of the big three pharma players.