Novartis Promises 14 New Big-Selling Drugs In Five Years

Officials at drug maker Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS) say they could have at least 14 new major drugs on the market within the next five years. The drug maker is currently focusing on treatments for respiratory problems, heart problems, and cancer.

Like most other drug makers, Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS) is also facing competition as some of the company’s bestselling drugs lose their patent protection, especially the drug Diovan, which is used to treat high blood pressure. However, Novartis is expecting its newer drugs like Afinitor, which is designed to treat breast cancer, to increase sales.

Some industry analysts warn that next year rival drug makers Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:REGN) and Biogen Idec Inc. (NASDAQ:BIIB) will be bringing out competing drugs for some of Novartis’ newer products, like Gilenya, which treats multiple sclerosis, and Lucentis, which is used for eye problems. But right now Novartis has 139 different drugs in development, and over 73 of them are new molecular entities which cover a broad range of health problems.

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Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS) officials are highlighting two drugs: LCZ686 and Serelaxin, both of which would be used to treat heart failure. The drug company is expected to file for regulatory approval for Serelaxin, both in the U.S. and in Europe, early next year, although late-stage study results released Tuesday on the drug were somewhat mixed, leaving some analysts to believe that the drug maker might need to conduct additional trials to ensure that Serelaxin will be a success commercially.

The drug maker’s pharmaceuticals division expects to file for approval on nine products within the next year. Shares of the company’s stocks traded 1.3 percent higher at 57.30 francs on the Stoxx 600 Europe by early afternoon.