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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Deal-weighing Pharmacyclics could draw $18B from J&J, Novartis: Bloomberg

So far, the 2014 pharma deal blitz has continued right on into 2015. And cancer drugmaker Pharmacyclics could be the next company to keep it going.

British doctors lobby NHS to use cheap Avastin over Lucentis in AMD

Here's a new threat to Lucentis, the eye drug from Roche and Novartis. British doctors are calling for the National Health Service to routinely use Roche's cancer med Avastin to treat patients with wet age-related macular degeneration, rather than the much costlier Lucentis.

Novartis bags a surprise approval for the blood cancer-treating panobinostat

Going against the advice of its independent experts, the FDA approved Novartis' new blood cancer drug for patients with particularly deadly forms of multiple myeloma, looking past some serious safety issues and concerns about the drug's supporting data.

Novartis leads a $28M round for rare disease biotech Merganser

Pennsylvania's Merganser Biotech raised a $28 million A round with the help of Novartis Venture Fund, paying the company's way as it homes in on iron-related diseases.

Novartis makes concerted push into Israeli biotech startup scene

Over the past year, Novartis has struck a pair of deals in Israel, snagging an option to buy Gamida Cell and a stake in BioLineRx.

Indian portion of GSK-Novartis swap approved by GSK board

The board of directors at GlaxoSmithKline voted to approve the last phase of a three-part deal with Novartis, transferring GSK's cancer drug portfolio to Novartis Healthcare Pvt, its Indian arm. Distribution rights were ceded in exchange for acquiring the Swiss-based company's vaccines portfolio.

Ahead of Novartis deal, GlaxoSmithKline scoops up vaccine developer in $190M buyout

Whatever GlaxoSmithKline learned about GlycoVaxyn in the two years since they inked a collaboration deal, it must have left the pharma giant feeling confident about the technology. GSK says today that it will scoop up the Swiss biotech, which is working on new vaccines for bacterial infections, for $190 million in cash.

AstraZeneca's R&D boom gives EU a clean sweep of pipeline leaderboard

A 13% jump in the number of compounds in development at AstraZeneca has seen it leapfrog Pfizer ($PFE) to claim fourth place on Citeline's list of the biggest development pipelines. The switch means European Big Pharma companies occupy the top four spots, with GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis and Roche taking the podium positions.

India's Cipla presses court to not honor Novartis Onbrez patent citing Lupin license deal

India's Cipla argued before the Delhi High Court against the Novartis patent for its Onbrez (indacaterol) COPD drug, saying the patent need not be honored because the Swiss drugmaker was not working it in the country and has licensed it to Lupin instead.

Novartis faces suspension in Japan after series of trial data scandals

SINGAPORE-- Japan plans to temporarily suspend Novartis' pharma business in that country, according to media reports. The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare's order will last about 15 days and will cite repeated violations of failure to report adverse events properly, the Japan Times says.