Novartis CEO Plans 80+ Submissions for Drug Approvals Through 2022

By Reuters Staff

December 06, 2019

ZURICH (Reuters) - Novartis is planning more than 80 major submissions to regulators for drug approvals from 2020-2022 in the United States, Europe, Japan and China, Chief Executive Vas Narasimhan said on Thursday ahead of a meeting with analysts and investors.

The submission figure is up from the 60 that the Basel-based company had said it was planning for the 2019-2021 period. It reiterated prospects of more than 25 potential medicines in its pipeline that could eventually top $1 billion in sales.

Narasimhan, following his nearly $10 billion acquisition of The Medicines Co last week which added to the company's suite of heart disease drugs, is spending the day in London with investors and analysts on Novartis' regular pipeline roadshow.

He also talked about improvements to operations that he expects will help the company's main drugs business boost near-term operating profit to around 35% of sales.

"Our operational focus is beginning to show results, including accelerating timelines, reducing costs and improving productivity without compromising quality," Narasimhan said in a statement.

Among therapies being highlighted on Thursday were Kymriah, Novartis's $475,000-per-patient cell therapy for which it has just built a new $90 million factory in Switzerland.

The facility will produce the treatment for European patients and help broaden its use beyond leukemia and lymphoma.

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