Novartis’s Recent Developments



Recent developments

As discussed earlier, Novartis (NVS) reported flat revenue at constant exchange rates in 2016. This flat revenue was driven by growth in the Sandoz segment’s revenue offset by flat sales in the Innovative Medicines segment, along with lower sales for Alcon in the year. 

Let’s take a look at some recent developments for Novartis.

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Corporate developments

On January 6, 2017, Novartis announced a collaborative agreement with Ionis Pharmaceutical (IONS) and its subsidiary, Akcea Therapeutics, for the licensing of two investigational therapies for reducing cardiovascular risk in patients with high levels of lipoproteins. The two therapies are AKCEA-APO(A)-LRx and AKCEA-APOCIII-LRx.

Product development

On March 23, 2017, the FDA approved Alcon’s AcrySof IQ ReSTOR +2.5 Multifocal Toric intraocular lenses with Active focus optical design. These lenses are designed for patients undergoing cataract surgery for astigmatism and presbyopia correction at the same time.

On March 13, 2017, the FDA approved Kisqali (ribociclib), a CDK4/6 inhibitor, as a first-line treatment for HR+/HER2- advanced or metastatic breast cancer.

On February 24, 2017, the European Medicines Agency’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (or CHMP) gave a positive opinion about the combination of Tafinlar and Mekinist in BRAF-positive non-small cell lung cancer (or NSCLC).

On February 23, 2017, the FDA granted priority review to Zykadia (ceritinib) as a first-line treatment for patients with ALK+ metastatic NSCLC.

On January 31, 2017, the European Commission approved Votubia (everolimus) for use in the treatment of refractory partial-onset seizures associated with tuberous sclerosis complex.

On January 26, 2017, Alcon launched new intraocular lenses, AcrySof IQ PanOptix Toric presbyopia-correcting lenses, and astigmatism-correcting lenses for use in treating patients undergoing cataract surgery who have pre-existing corneal astigmatisms.

To divest company-specific risks, investors can consider ETFs such as the Schwab International Equity ETF (SCHF), which holds 0.5% of its total assets in Novartis, 0.7% in Sanofi (SNY), 0.6% in AstraZeneca (AZN), and 0.7% GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).


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