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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The biggest winners--and losers--in the 2015 race for new drug approvals

In 2015, the FDA by its own account approved 45 new drugs, the largest one-year tally since 1996, which wrapped up with a record 53 regulatory OKs. Now, here's the full list of new drugs approved by the FDA in 2015, in chronological order.

Think different? Pharma turns to tech partnerships for beyond-the-pill moves

There's not going to be a beyond-the-pill revolution in 2016. Frankly, pharma doesn't yet have the technology to move beyond pushing products to delivering outcomes. But drugmakers are teaming up with major technology players in deals that marry Big Data record-sifting with cutting-edge patient-monitoring gadgetry, and that's the kind of infrastructure necessary for big moves beyond the pill.

The biosimilars are coming. But how long will it be till they can make their mark?

With one biosim already on the U.S. market, and more poised for a 2016 liftoff, next year will give drugmakers and payers a taste of the biosim contest to come.

Novartis selling French Alcon plant to Recipharm

Novartis will shed another manufacturing unit as it continues its efforts to improve earnings by getting more efficient. This time, it will sell an Alcon unit to Swedish contract manufacturer Recipharm but has swung a deal to buy and continue to market the eye meds made there.

EMA warns of PML, cancer risks from Novartis' Gilenya

Earlier this year, U.S. regulators updated the label of Novartis' multiple sclerosis pill, Gilenya, to reflect cases of serious brain infections linked to the treatment. And now, its counterparts across the pond are following suit.

Novartis backing sets Seventure up to place 25 bets on microbiome plays

Novartis has signed up as the strategic pharma investor in Seventure Partners' microbiome fund, blasting the VC shop past its initial fundraising target in the process. With €160 million ($176 million) to play with, Seventure now plans to back 25 microbiome companies, most of which will be based in Europe.

Novartis backs $176M microbiome biotech fund

Novartis has stepped in to back Paris-based Seventure Partners' biotech fund focused exclusively on the emerging field of the microbiome as well as nutrition, bringing its fund to $176 million.

ASH scorecard: AbbVie rides high, GBT slips and Celgene settles in

AbbVie, questing to justify its colossal buyout of Pharmacyclics, came away among the winners of the weekend's American Society of Hematology meeting, while the recently IPO'd Global Blood Therapeutics ran into mixed results with its sickle cell therapy and Celgene doubled down on immuno-oncology.

Novartis keeps its CAR-T lead with positive Phase II data

Novartis, leading a pack of companies developing genetically engineered T cells to fight cancer, unveiled more promising data on its Phase II treatment as it wends toward an FDA filing.

Sun to launch copy of Novartis' best-selling drug Gleevec Feb. 1

Sun Pharma said today that the FDA has approved its generic of Novartis' top-selling drug, cancer pill Gleevec, and that it will launch its version in two months, beginning Feb. 1.