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Novartis plans US$2.5b share buyback as pipeline grows

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Novartis plans to buy back as much as US$2.5 billion of shares as the Swiss drugmaker expects its pipeline of new drug candidates to fuel sales growth.

[BASEL] Novartis plans to buy back as much as US$2.5 billion of shares as the Swiss drugmaker expects its pipeline of new drug candidates to fuel sales growth.

The pharma giant expects key data and advances on five experimental cancer medicines that are in mid- to late-stage clinical trials next year, Novartis said Tuesday ahead of a presentation to investors. That includes canakinumab, a potential treatment for non-small cell lung cancer.

Novartis said it's on track to deliver US$2 billion in cost savings by year-end and another US$2 billion in the mid-term. The stock rose 1.4 per cent in early Zurich trading.

The company estimates it has the pharma industry's second-largest pipeline based on projected revenue from new treatments set to be launched through 2026.

Last month, Novartis raised its forecast for the year as new products, including a gene therapy that sells for US$2.1 million, helped counter disruption from Covid-19.

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