Novartis' financials for the third quarter show that net profit slipped 6% to $2.26 billion, while sales were up 4% at $14.34 billion.
Pharmaceutical turnover edged up 1% to $7.89 billion, hit by a 14% decline in sales of the blood pressure lowerer Diovan (valsartan) to $835 million, due to generic competition in Europe. Although off-patent in the USA, Novartis is still benefitting from the fact that the Food and Drug Administration has yet to approve any competitor for Diovan monotherapy.
Turnover from Glivec/Gleevec (imatinib), for chronic myeloid leukaemia and gastrointestinal stromal tumours was down 3% at $1.13 billion, while the successor to Glivec, Tasigna (nilotinib), also approved for CML, contributed $315 million, up 21%.
Sales of Lucentis (ranibizumab) for the treatment of age-related macular degeneration fell 2% to $581 million, while kidney cancer drug Afinitor (everolimus) soared 64% to $337 million, Turnover from the diabetes drug Galvus (vildagliptin) climbed 37% to $316 million, while the oral multiple sclerosis drug Gilenya brought in $518 million, also up 64%.
Exjade (deferasirox) for treating patients with iron overload was up 7% to $212 million, but sales of Zometa (zoledronic acid) for cancer complications sank 66% to $104 million due to the loss of exclusivity.
Novartis noted that it performed well in China, where sales rose 18%, and in Russia (+15%).