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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Novartis, Boehringer vie for COPD market share with combo meds

Rivals Novartis and Boehringer Ingelheim are touting positive results for their combination COPD treatments, duking it out with GlaxoSmithKline for dominance of a market that could reach $14 billion by 2018.

Need a job? J&J, Novartis and Biogen Idec are pharma's favorite employers

With all of the pharma layoffs, lots of folks are looking for a job in the industry. So where are the best places to work? Johnson & Johnson and Novartis if you want to work for a large company. Biogen Idec, Gilead or perhaps Novo Nordisk if you prefer more of a midsize drugmaker.

Novartis hands Ophthotech a $1B deal for heavyweight wet AMD contender

Novartis has scooped up the ex-U.S. rights to Ophthotech's Fovista--its late-stage therapy for wet age-related macular degeneration that hopes to one day rival heavyweight franchises controlled by Roche and Regeneron--in a package deal potentially worth more than $1 billion.

FDA rejects Novartis' 'breakthrough' cardio drug serelaxin

The FDA rejected the heart drug serelaxin, the latest blow to a treatment Novartis hoped would be a cornerstone of a cardiovascular franchise.

HCL Tech adds Novartis to roster of Big Pharma clients

India-based HCL Technologies has shown a skill for winning Big Pharma contracts, like the $500 million deal it inked with Merck in 2010. HCL has now added Novartis to its list of clients, with the Swiss pharma signing up to outsource its infrastructure management to the IT services company.

Novartis settles Sun Pharma suit, winning 7-month reprieve from generic Gleevec

After nearly a year of fighting to protect the patent on its blockbuster leukemia drug Gleevec, Novartis has made peace with Indian drugmaker Sun Pharma, reaching a settlement that will keep Sun's generic version off the U.S. market until February 2016, Reuters reports. Novartis' U.S. patent expires in July 2015.

Novartis, Servier team up on tumor-killing drug development

France's Servier has struck up a deal with Novartis to develop oncology drugs that invade tumors and lead them to self-destruct.

Japanese officials: Novartis failed to report side effects of leukemia drug

Novartis is facing yet another investigation in Japan. Little more than a month after a panel of Japanese lawyers uncovered serious misconduct during a trial of its leukemia drug, Tasigna, the Japanese government is probing whether the company broke the law by failing to report side effects of the product.

Show me the money: Which drugs made the top 10 list on upfront deals?

Given the eyebrow-raising cash component in Celgene's new deal with Nogra, we thought it would be fun to list the top 10 upfronts paid for experimental drugs, ranked simply according to the cash included in the upfront--no surer sign of what a company really thinks about the potential of an experimental therapy or portfolio.

EU joins probe into Roche, Novartis eye-drug collusion charges

First it was Italy, then it was France, and now the European Union is stepping up to take a serious look at how Swiss drugmakers Roche and Novartis have handled the marketing of their eye drug Lucentis.