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

JP Morgan: Qualcomm Ventures, Novartis co-fund joint investment company to tune of $100M

At San Francisco's giant JP Morgan Healthcare Conference, tech company Qualcomm and Big Pharma player Novartis revealed a plan for a joint investment company with $100 million to spend on startups that "go beyond the pill."

Novartis picks Qualcomm tech to enable remote collection of trial data

Novartis has added another component to its "Clinical Trials of the Future" program. The latest element of the trial efficiency initiative sees the Swiss Big Pharma team up with computer chip maker Qualcomm to gather data on clinical trial participants between visits to the investigator site.

Big Pharma threatens to sue U.K. fund as officials nix Novartis, Sanofi and Eisai meds

U.K. officials have decided which drugs to toss off the Cancer Drug Fund, which pays for drugs rejected by cost-effectiveness gatekeepers. Reportedly, Novartis, Sanofi and Eisai treatments are among them.

Novartis clears an FDA hurdle with its pioneering biosimilar of Amgen's Neupogen

A group of FDA advisers unanimously recommended approval for Novartis' knockoff of a blockbuster Amgen treatment, clearing the way for what would be the first U.S. approval of a copycat biologic medicine.

Ad watchdog slaps Novartis for Theraflu cold-fighting claim

Novartis claims its Theraflu Multi-Symptom Severe Cold "starts to get to work in your body in 5 minutes" after taking it. But Pfizer, which sells its own range of cold-fighters, has an issue with that--and so does National Advertising Division.

Pfizer complains, advertising watchdog acts against Novartis Theraflu promo

Novartis claims its Theraflu Multi-Symptom Severe Cold "starts to get to work in your body in 5 minutes" after taking it. But competitor Pfizer isn't having it--and neither is the National Advertising Division.

Novartis adopts a CRISPR-Cas9 partner and jumps into the hot new R&D field

Just weeks after Novartis and Atlas Venture announced the launch of an upstart player in the fast-emerging field of CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing, the pharma giant has stepped back up to formally hammer out a partnership development deal and throw its enormous resources behind the biotech.

FDA reviewers back Novartis biosim of Amgen's blockbuster Neupogen

Those looking for a window into the FDA's thoughts on biosimilars got their first direct peek Monday. The agency released briefing documents for an upcoming panel meeting on Novartis' biosimilar of Amgen's Neupogen. The takeaway? The FDA seems to be softpedaling on whether the biosim is "interchangeable" with Neupogen itself, allowing approval to be based on biosimilarity instead.

Novartis rolls toward FDA nod with a copy of Amgen's Neupogen

Novartis' copy of Amgen's top-selling Neupogen matched up well with the original, FDA reviewers said, recommending what would be the first U.S. approval of a biologic knock-off.

Vanda settles its squabble with Novartis and pockets $25M for its trouble

Vanda Pharmaceuticals has come out at the other end of its dispute with former partner Novartis, getting back the rights to its schizophrenia drug and banking an equity investment from the Swiss drugmaker.