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Novartis Touts Pipeline of Blockbuster Drugs

Says it could have 14 new best-selling treatments in five years


prescription drugsBreakthrough drugs to treat heart and lung diseases, as well as cancer, could boost revenue at Novartis (NYSE:NVS), which says it may release 14 or more top-selling medications by 2017.

The company indicated that it planned to submit nine new drugs for FDA approval within the next year. New cancer drugs were anticipated generate an additional $1 billion in sales within five years, Reuters noted.

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The Swiss pharmaceutical giant is pushing hard to grow its pipeline of new drugs to offset generic competition for some of its top-name drugs, like blood-pressure treatment Diovan, as patent protections lapse.

With 139 new drugs in clinical development, the company is betting that new drugs like its breast cancer medication Afinitor, will drive increased revenue.  Other drugs for heart failure, multiple sclerosis and psoriasis are also showing promise.

Still analysts warn that pharmaceutical competition is increasing and that companies like Regeneron (NASDAQ:REGN) and Biogen Idec (NASDAQ:BIIB) will soon offer treatments to rival Novartis’ new medications. Also, patients in recent clinical trials for serelaxin, a heart failure drug, showed uneven results, potentially compromising the drugs marketability.

Novartis also announced that it had received a recommendation from the FDA’s Metabolic Drugs Advisory Committee for SigniforR, its treatment for Cushing’s disease, moving the drug closer to possible approval.

Shares of Novartis rose fractionally in Thursday morning trading.

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