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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FTC orders Novartis to sell nicotine patch biz to approve consumer deal with GSK

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission found only one antitrust wrinkle in the combo of the consumer health units of GlaxoSmithKline and Novartis and says it has been ironed out. Novartis will sell its Habitrol nicotine patch business so the new joint venture will not have too much market sway in pricing of nicotine patches in the U.S.

UPDATED: Novartis flu vaccine under the lens as Italy probes 13 deaths

Italy's drug regulator has a growing investigation on its hands, and Novartis is in the middle of it. The number of people who have died in the country after receiving one of the Swiss pharma giant's flu vaccines has risen by 10 just days after Italy issued a partial ban on the product.

The top 10 FierceBiotech stories of 2014

In biotech, here are the top 10 news stories of the year so far, based on web traffic.

Novartis cans a researcher whose cooked data led to a slew of retractions

Novartis has washed its hands of a researcher who admitted to falsifying results in a series of published papers, promising to dig into his work at the company to determine whether the pattern continued in its own labs.

Novartis' troubled blood cancer drug is now less of an FDA priority

The FDA wants more time to deliberate on Novartis' panobinostat, a multiple myeloma treatment that failed to impress a panel of independent experts, signaling a delay that could nearly negate the agency's previous promise of a speedy review.

GSK shareholders to vote on Novartis megadeal in December

Glaxo shareholders will soon have the chance to weigh in on an asset swap between GlaxoSmithKline and Novartis worth more than $20 billion.

Novartis' Enbrel beater bounds toward psoriasis approval ahead of the crowd

Novartis is well on its way to leading a new class of anti-inflammatory treatments, convincing European regulators to recommend approving its injected therapy for psoriasis and putting the company in line for transatlantic launches next year.

Novartis VC unit co-leads $53M investment in BioNano Genomics

BioNano Genomics has restocked its coffers to fund an assault on the genome analysis sector. The San Diego, CA-based genome mapping firm raised a $53 million war chest from Novartis' venture fund and other investors to accelerate uptake of its Irys DNA analysis device and accompanying software.

Why the Bexsero delay? Novartis holding government to 'ransom,' U.K. says

The U.K. and Novartis have been negotiating for months now on a fair price for the Swiss pharma's meningitis B shot, Bexsero, which the country plans to add to its childhood vaccination schedule. So what's the holdup?

U.K. health secretary: Novartis holding government to 'ransom' with Bexsero pricing

Earlier this month, U.K. politicians asked Prime Minister David Cameron to explain why Novartis' Bexsero, approved as an addition to the country's childhood immunization schedule 8 months back, had yet to be covered by the National Health Service. Now, Cameron has asked Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to do the same--and Hunt is pointing the finger at the Swiss pharma.