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, Lilly lead a $44M round for rare disease biotech Aeglea

Austin, Texas, biotech Aeglea Biotherapeutics raised $44 million in Series B cash to bankroll its enzyme-replacement therapy for a rare metabolic disorder, with Eli Lilly and Novartis leading the round.

Amgen fails to block Novartis' Neupogen biosimilar

Novartis made history this month with the first FDA approval of a biosimilar, and now a judge's ruling has cleared the way for its launch. The drug, Zarxio, is a copy of Amgen's blockbuster Neupogen, which is designed to boost white blood cell counts.

Judge says Novartis can launch biosimilar of Amgen's Neupogen

Novartis CEO Joe Jimenez was a bit dismissive about the immediate impact of biosimilars when his company became the first to get one approved in the U.S. But Amgen didn't see the biosimilar of its blockbuster Neupogen in quite the same light and tried to stop its release. Unfortunately for the company, a federal judge denied Amgen's request for a temporary injunction.

Novartis faces more gender-bias claims with $110M Alcon suit

Several years ago, Novartis agreed to pay $175 million to settle a high-profile gender discrimination lawsuit focused on its U.S. sales operations. Now, the Swiss drugmaker faces a new discrimination fight at its Texas-based Alcon unit.

England's Cancer Drugs Fund changes its tune, holds onto Novartis' Afinitor

England's Cancer Drugs Fund is backtracking in its decision to remove certain treatments from its list of covered drugs, agreeing to keep Novartis' cancer med Afinitor for two of the three indications for which it was supposed to be removed.

Judge tosses Xolair kickback suit against Novartis, Genentech

Novartis and Roche can wash their hands of some kickback accusations. A federal judge tossed a long-standing whistleblower suit Tuesday, nixing allegations that the two drugmakers used kickbacks and off-label promotions to pump up sales of their asthma drug Xolair.

Japanese doc testifies about inflating placebo counts in Diovan trial

A Japanese 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 for marketing approval, sources said.

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.