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

GlaxoSmithKline's effort to relaunch cancer R&D faces skepticism

GlaxoSmithKline made a high-profile decision to exit the cancer drug field in its recent deal with Novartis, but as Reuters reports, a band of specialists inside GSK still has ambitious plans for developing next-gen therapies.

New numbers back old meme: Pharma does spend more on marketing than R&D

The BBC has some numbers sourced from GlobalData showing that 9 out of 10 Big Pharma companies do in fact spend more on marketing than on R&D. In some cases, that's twice as much.

J&J, Pfizer, Novartis are the in-demand pharmas among job-seekers, LinkedIn says

Hiring and keeping good employees is as much of a challenge in the drug business as it is anywhere else. So, it's always nice to know that would-be job seekers think your company is swell. Here's the latest gauge of drugmakers' status in the world of recruiting.

Novartis gears up for FDA scrutiny with a new blood cancer drug

Novartis believes its new oncology treatment can make a major difference for patients with multiple myeloma, a blood cancer with a particularly grim prognosis. But first it'll have to convince a group of independent experts that the drug's ability to extend survival by a few months outweighs a significant increase in safety risks.

Novartis cuts more jobs at U.S. consumer plant ahead of handing it off to GSK

Novartis is into Phase III at its Lincoln, NE-based consumer health plant--phase three of its job cuts there as it whittles the workforce by 40%. The latest, and final, round of cuts comes even as the company readies its consumer health partnership with GlaxoSmithKline.  

Novartis sets sights on Philly amid a sweeping CAR-T collaboration

Novartis has leased a sizable outpost in the Philadelphia suburbs, according to a local report, settling into the area as it works with University of Pennsylvania researchers on a promising new approach to treating cancer.

Cipla petitions India to revoke Novartis respiratory drug patents, launches low-cost version of drug

Amid growing discontent from Big Pharma companies over India's patent-busting policies, generics maker Cipla is petitioning the country's government to revoke 5 patents for Novartis' respiratory drug Indacterol and is launching a low-cost version of the product to boost local access.  

Pfizer beats out Novartis with FDA MenB nod

We have a winner. In a two-horse race to grab the first-ever U.S. approval for a meningitis B vaccine, Pfizer has emerged victorious, nabbing the FDA's blessing Wednesday.

A tale of 'two worlds' for Novartis respiratory launches in U.S. and EU

Targeting different markets naturally requires using different marketing strategies. But for Novartis, which is aiming to become a major respiratory player, its approaches within and outside the U.S. could end up being worlds apart.

For Novartis' respiratory ambitions, it's a tale of 'two worlds'

Targeting different markets naturally requires using different marketing strategies. But for Novartis, which is aiming to become a major respiratory player, its approaches within and outside the U.S. could end up being worlds apart.