Novartis Unveils Path to Becoming a Top 5 US Player by 2027

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After months of implementing a major strategic restructuring, Novartis outlined Thursday how it plans to become a top-five player in the United States by 2027.

Novartis executives highlighted how the transformation is nearly complete in a meeting with investors and industry analysts in Switzerland.

The move, which is expected to result in the loss of thousands of jobs, including many in leadership positions, will unite the company's oncology and pharmaceuticals business and simplify its operations model. 

Novartis' approach includes the advancement of eight in-market brands, including Cosentyx, Entresto, Zolgensma and Kisqali, that have the potential to generate multi-billion dollar peak sales and the prioritization of a deep pipeline that will focus on high-value new molecular entities. 

The company's strategy will focus on five core therapeutic areas, key technology platforms and the U.S. market. Those core areas are cardiovascular, immunology, neuroscience, solid tumors and hematology.

Novartis CEO Vas Narasimhan said the aim of the new strategy is to "increase value per new molecular entity" from the company's deep pipeline. 

In its announcement Thursday morning, the company noted its eight core assets, Cosentyx, Entresto, Zolgensma, Kisqali, Kesimpta, Leqvio, Pluvicto and Scemblix, each hold multi-billion dollar peak sales potential. 

Future Catalysts

During its presentation, Novartis noted several ongoing clinical programs are likely to "drive news flow" soon. Several high-value late-stage developmental assets are expected to generate data readouts over the next three years, the company shared.  

Among those catalysts is the ongoing NATALEE trial assessing Kisqali in adjuvant HER2-negative breast cancer in both high- and intermediate-risk patients with breast cancer. Data from that program is expected in 2023.

Other catalysts are:

  • Iptacopan: The first Phase III trial results in patients with paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria are expected later this year. More data readouts in other indications are anticipated in 2023.
  • Pluvicto: Phase III data from the PSMAfore trial in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer is expected in late 2022 or early 2023.
  • Remibrutinib: Phase III data from two trials in chronic spontaneous urticarial are anticipated in 2024. Additionally, data from two Phase III trials in relapsing multiple sclerosis are expected in 2025.
  • Scemblix: Data from the CML-CP trial in first-line chronic myeloid leukemia is expected in 2024.

Technology platforms

Novartis will shift its portfolio of medicines toward biologics and technology platforms. The company intends to prioritize three new technology platforms, gene and cell therapy, radioligand therapy and 'xRNA.' The combination of biologics and technology platforms will increase the company's ability to tackle multiple indications, Novartis stated.  

US First Strategy

When developing new drugs, Novartis will first focus on the U.S. market. The strategy embraces a U.S.-first mindset that includes the development of medicines for the market, increasing the share of U.S. patients in clinical trials and "building capability and talent" in America, according to the announcement. 

Beyond the U.S., Novartis aims to become a top-three pharma company in China, a key growth market. Additionally, the company intends to maintain leading positions in Germany and Japan. 

As part of its reorganization, last month, Novartis spun off its generics unit Sandoz into a standalone company. The spin-off is expected to be completed in the second half of 2023. 

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