Analysts are predicting second-quarter net income growth for Novartis of 14%, to $1.88 billion, on strong sales of Diovan (valsartan) and Gleevec (dasatinib), when the company announces its quarterly earnings on July17.

Revenue for the blood pressure treatment Diovan, is expected to be about $1.2 billion for the quarter, up 2 million on the previous year, while sales of Gleevec, for the treatment of chronic myeloid leukaemia, are estimated to reach $730 million, a rise of $90 million over the same period last year.

However, Novartis has indicated that it expects lower sales this year after it was forced to withdraw its irritable bowel syndrome drug, Zelnorm (tegaserod), following an FDA request. The company’s revenues may be further threatened after US regulators twice delayed making a decision on experimental diabetes drug, Galvus (vildagliptin).

Novartis has also suffered a setback with its joint development programme with Idenix of hepatitis C drug valopicitabine, which has been put on clinical hold following discussions over its overall risk/benefit profile with the FDA. Idenix CEO, Jean-Pierre Sommadossi has said he is “not optimistic about further development to valopicitabine in the future.”