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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Indian portion of GSK-Novartis swap approved by GSK board

The board of directors at GlaxoSmithKline voted to approve the last phase of a three-part deal with Novartis, transferring GSK's cancer drug portfolio to Novartis Healthcare Pvt, its Indian arm. Distribution rights were ceded in exchange for acquiring the Swiss-based company's vaccines portfolio.

Ahead of Novartis deal, GlaxoSmithKline scoops up vaccine developer in $190M buyout

Whatever GlaxoSmithKline learned about GlycoVaxyn in the two years since they inked a collaboration deal, it must have left the pharma giant feeling confident about the technology. GSK says today that it will scoop up the Swiss biotech, which is working on new vaccines for bacterial infections, for $190 million in cash.

AstraZeneca's R&D boom gives EU a clean sweep of pipeline leaderboard

A 13% jump in the number of compounds in development at AstraZeneca has seen it leapfrog Pfizer ($PFE) to claim fourth place on Citeline's list of the biggest development pipelines. The switch means European Big Pharma companies occupy the top four spots, with GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis and Roche taking the podium positions.

India's Cipla presses court to not honor Novartis Onbrez patent citing Lupin license deal

India's Cipla argued before the Delhi High Court against the Novartis patent for its Onbrez (indacaterol) COPD drug, saying the patent need not be honored because the Swiss drugmaker was not working it in the country and has licensed it to Lupin instead.

Novartis faces suspension in Japan after series of trial data scandals

SINGAPORE-- Japan plans to temporarily suspend Novartis' pharma business in that country, according to media reports. The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare's order will last about 15 days and will cite repeated violations of failure to report adverse events properly, the Japan Times says.

Novartis' Bexsero picks up FDA nod--but with competition looming, approval isn't everything

After years of pinning its vaccine ambitions on meningitis B shot Bexsero, Novartis' FDA approval is here. But as it prepares to fork over the jab--along with the bulk of its vaccines business--to deal partner GlaxoSmithKline, there are other hurdles in the way of its success--including some new competition from Pfizer.

GSK to divest meningitis shots in exchange for EU clearance of Novartis deal

The European Commission has cleared GlaxoSmithKline's deal for most of Novartis' vaccines unit--on a couple of conditions.

Novartis braces for psoriasis pricing war as it preps for Cosentyx launch

Novartis' Cosentyx may be the first next-gen psoriasis treatment to hit the U.S. market, but it certainly won't be the last--and the Swiss drugmaker knows it. So while competitors usher their own prospects down the regulatory pathway, the company is girding for the price war it envisions in its future.

Novartis points to PhIII data to explain weak Jetrea sales

Novartis has admitted that sales of the vitreomacular adhesion drug it licensed from ThromboGenics have failed to live up to expectations. And while various theories have been put forward to explain the drug's relative lack of commercial success, Novartis thinks part of the issue dates back to clinical trials.

Novartis revs up Cosentyx launch as it braces for a psoriasis pricing war

Novartis' Cosentyx may be the first next-gen psoriasis treatment to hit the U.S. market, but it certainly won't be the last--and the Swiss drugmaker knows it. So while competitors usher their own prospects down the regulatory pathway, the company is girding for the price war it envisions in its future.