http://www.digitaljournal.com/business/business/mixed-news-for-novartis/article/463583

Mixed news for Novartis

Posted Apr 22, 2016 by Tim Sandle
Pharmaceutical company Novartis experienced mixed results during the first quarter of 2016. Sales showed a decline, however the company is preparing to launch a significant new anti-seizure medication.
Swiss pharmaceuticals giant Novartis' headquarters  pictured in Basel  on January 28  2009
Swiss pharmaceuticals giant Novartis' headquarters, pictured in Basel, on January 28, 2009
Sebastien Bozon, AFP/File
Novartis International AG is a Swiss multinational pharmaceutical company based in Basel, Switzerland. It is one of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the world. The company was ranked number one in sales (57.9 billion US$) in 2015.
For quarter one, the company saw a 13 percent decline in sales. This was primarily due to a fall in sales of its bestselling cancer drug Gleevec. This followed a generic version of the therapy reaching medical markets. As a result sales fell 3 percent year-on-year to $11.6 billion.
Discussing the shift with PharmaFile, Novartis Chief Executive Joseph Jimenez, stated: "I am pleased we were able to show sales growth in constant currencies despite the entry of a generic version of Gleevec in the U.S. As expected, our results reflect additional investments behind our new launches and Alcon.”
He added: “We are on track with the plan we outlined in January to further focus our divisions, drive greater innovation and significant synergies and productivity. I remain confident in our long-term growth prospects, underpinned by our strong pipeline and the talent leading our Research and Development functions."
Other reasons for the sales decline, according to CNBC, were: “a struggling eyecare business and lackluster sales of its new heart medicine.”
More positive news for the company comes in the form of a new product. The company has revealed the results from a Phase III clinical trial that indicates a product called Afinitor (generic name everolimus) reduces the treatment-resistant seizures associated with a condition called tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC). TSC is a rare genetic disorder affecting up to one million people worldwide.
Commenting on the medical trial outcome, Alessandro Riva, who is the global head of oncology and medical affairs at Novartis, stated: “There has been a long-standing need to find a treatment option for TSC patients that provides control of treatment-resistant seizures and we are encouraged that data from the EXIST-3 study show everolimus may have this potential.”