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

Novartis pays up to $700M for novel pain treatment developer Spinifex

Swiss-based Novartis will buy privately-held Spinifex Pharmaceuticals for $200 million upfront as well as unspecified clinical and milestone payments for a firm that developed a candidate for neuropathic pain, EMA401, a novel angiotensin II Type 2 receptor (AT2R) antagonist.

Novartis scores recommendation from EMA for myeloma drug Farydak

After scoring FDA approval earlier this year, Novartis' multiple myeloma med Farydak (panobinostat) is picking up steam across the pond, snagging the European Medicines Agency's (EMA) recommendation for patients with advanced forms of the disease.

Unions accuse Novartis of 'sham' patent fight to delay Sun's Gleevec generics

Two union funds are suing Novartis, claiming that the Swiss drugmaker used "sham" patent-infringement claims to delay a generic version of its blockbuster leukemia drug Gleevec. Though just the latest in a series of legal battles over drug patent settlements, it's the first attempt by purchasers to block one of those settlements, the plaintiffs' lawyers said.

Novartis playing catch-up in cancer? Not us, says top oncology exec

Novartis may be trailing behind Big Pharma rivals that already have immuno-oncology treatments on the market. But the company insists that doesn't mean it's not well positioned in oncology.

Biosimilar of Novartis' eye drug Lucentis launched in India

Novartis' eye drug Lucentis has long had a target on its back from biosimilar makers who would love to get some piece of the $4 billion in annual sales it racks up. Now an Indian drugmaker says it has hit that mark.

Pharma ad budgets to dip in 2016, but J&J, Pfizer, Roche and Novartis should still top $2B

Flat news is good news. Pharma spending on advertising and promotional expenses will dip by just 1.7% next year, according to Schonfeld & Associates' annual Advertising Ratios & Budgets. That means a total of more than $21 billion in ad spending and just a bit healthier than last year's decline of 2%.

Novartis zeroes in on costs as blockbusters-to-be Cosentyx, Entresto rev up

Novartis has had a complicated year: Three months ago, the Swiss drugmaker closed its multipart asset swap with GlaxoSmithKline, sending most of its troubled vaccines business to GSK and taking on the U.K. drugmaker's oncology business.

Alcon gets CE mark to sell new intraocular lens in Europe

Novartis' Alcon received CE mark approval to sell its AcrySof IQ PanOptix trifocal intraocular lens in Europe. The implantable lens corrects near, intermediate and distance vision in cataract patients.

GSK deal keeps paying off for Novartis with more positive Arzerra data

Earlier this year, Novartis became the owner of a number of new oncology assets thanks to its multibillion-dollar asset swap with GlaxoSmithKline. And Friday, it released some positive new survival data for leukemia drug Arzerra that adds to the evidence that the trade was a good one for the Swiss drugmaker.

Sandoz recalls 1M units of generic Zyrtec made in India

Novartis CEO Joe Jimenez took a swipe at Sandoz's Indian competitors last year, suggesting there would be fallout in the generics market as smaller players were unable to "build quality into their systems" to meet rising regulatory demands. Now a Sandoz plant in India is having its own issues, recalling more than 1 million packages of a generic of the number one selling allergy pill Zyrtec.