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 to pay record $12.6M to settle HHS price-reporting claims

Novartis has agreed to pay the largest-ever settlement over allegations of inaccurate or outdated drug-price reporting to the federal government, HHS officials say. That's not saying much, however: This record-breaking settlement amounts to $12.64 million.

Japanese doctor testifies on inflating placebo counts in Diovan trials

A Japan physician testified in a case involving Novartis Pharma K.K. and its Diovan (valsartan) drug for high blood pressure that he falsified a report while participating in clinical trials marketing approval, sources said.

Cost watchdogs back Novartis' Xolair for big new market in chronic hives

England's cost-effectiveness watchdogs have changed their mind on Xolair. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence decided to back the Novartis asthma drug as a treatment for chronic hives, after sending the drugmaker back for more data last year.

Arrowhead acquires Novartis' RNAi assets, but Alnylam CEO calls them 'unuseful.' Who's right?

RNAi leaders Alnylam and Arrowhead Research are publicly disagreeing over the value of Novartis' RNAi assets. Arrowhead acquired the assets, including the rights to three preclinical candidates, for $35 million. Alnylam CEO John Maraganore said the assets were "pretty unuseful."

Novartis CEO eyes more cost cuts to satisfy margin demands

Novartis execs are rolling up their sleeves for another round of cost cuts. "Very significant" cost cuts, CEO Joe Jimenez tells the Financial Times, partly from the company's ongoing overhaul in back-office operations--and partly from its sale-and-swap with GlaxoSmithKline, which closed last week.

Novartis gets bragging rights on first U.S. biosim. But will its Neupogen copy sell?

It's been a long, long regulatory road, but the first FDA-approved biosimilar--a copy of Amgen's Neupogen from Novartis' generics unit, Sandoz--is finally here. But that doesn't mean it'll catch on right away, as the Swiss pharma's CEO has been first to admit.

Novartis wins landmark approval for a biosimilar of Amgen's Neupogen

Novartis will be the first to hit U.S. shores with a copy of a blockbuster biotech drug, winning FDA approval for its take on Amgen's Neupogen and heralding a new era in biopharma.

UPDATED: Novartis abandons its RNAi cast-offs from Alnylam in $35M fire sale to Arrowhead

While the industry was largely focused on the jaw-dropping sum being paid for Pharmacyclics today, Arrowhead Research has come in to buy up Novartis' cast-off RNAi business for the bargain rate of $10 million in cash and $25 million in stock.

The PD-1 wave? Report says it's a $33B tsunami, with BMS surfing for first place

There's a reason immuno-oncology is among the hottest fields in biopharma today--and that's the $20 billion or so in 2022 sales that many analysts estimate. No wonder Bristol-Myers Squibb, Merck, AstraZeneca and Roche are speeding ahead with their research in the field, with Sanofi, Novartis and Pfizer racing to catch up.

Novartis' new myeloma med faces tough tussle with Pomalyst, Kyprolis

The multiple myeloma market already had a couple of meds with third-line nods when the FDA decided to throw a surprise approval into the mix. Can brand-new Farydak from Novartis actually put up a roadblock for Amgen's Kyprolis and Celgene's Pomalyst? That remains to be seen.