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Novartis Ag-adr (NVS) Financial News - UPDATE 2-Novartis expects to be able to fend off generics

Novartis Ag-adr (NVS)

UPDATE 2-Novartis expects to be able to fend off generics

Keywords: Mike Nesbit, SophieWalker
Quote: Tue Jul 19, 2011 3:35am EDT * Q2 sales rise to $14.915 bln, vs poll for $14.735 bln * Core EPS $1.48, vs poll of $1.52 * Confirms full-year outlook * Shares rise 2.6 percent, outperform sector index(Adds detail, background, analyst, shares) By Katie Reid ZURICH, July 19 (Reuters) - Swiss drugmaker Novartisexpects demand for new medicines to offset competition from cheaper copies of its drugs after it posted forecast-beating second-quarter sales helped by its latest products. Novartis, which has a better track record than most rivals in bringing new drugs to market, hit an upbeat note about its recently launched multiple sclerosis pill Gilenya, which raked in $79 million from April to June. "Gilenya is turning out to be one of the most successful new product launches," Chief Executive Joe Jimenez told reporters on Tuesday. Sales at the Basel-based group rose 27 percent, or 19 percent in constant currencies, to $14.9 billion, ahead of a poll average of $14.735 billion, while sales volume at the key pharma unit rose 8 percent. Novartis, like many other drugmakers, is starting to face generic competition as cancer drug Femara and its blood pressure medicine Diovan lose patent protection. But Jimenez told Reuters Insider television that Novartis' recent $51 billion buy of eyecare group Alcon as well its Sandoz unit, which itself makes generic drugs, would allow Novartis to navigate the loss of patents. Sales of Diovan slipped 3 percent to $1.5 billion, but Novartis said the drug has held on to its position as the top-selling branded anti-hypertensive medication in the world. Femara sales tumbled 29 percent. "I do expect because we have a broad portfolio quote...
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