Novartis Full Year Results 2018

By Adem Lewis / in , , /

Hello everyone. We’re here in Basel, Switzerland, wrapping up 2018 and getting ready for an exciting 2019. In 2018, we reimagined Novartis. We re-designed the company to be a leading medicines company powered by advanced therapy platforms and by data science and digital. We also had great operational performance with strong, top line growth of 5%, bottom line growth and core operating income of 8%. Strong, free cash flow generation, very proud about our operational execution. But importantly, we also delivered on our five strategic priorities. Today, I am here with Bertrand Bodson, our Chief Digital Officer, Paul Hudson, our CEO of Novartis Pharmaceuticals, and John Tsai, our Chief Medical Officer and Global Head of Drug Development, to talk a little bit more about how we’re advancing across these five priorities. I thought maybe Paul, you could tell us a little bit more about how you felt about how we did on innovation in 2018. So, we had an outstanding year. Over a million patients treated with Entresto since launch. Entresto, in fact, became a blockbuster. Over 185 000 patients with Cosentyx and over 130 000 patients with Aimovig in migraine. Wow. That’s great. John, do you have any other perspectives on the pipeline? Yeah, 2018 and especially the fourth quarter was tremendous in terms of data read outs. First, we had the read out for brolucizumab for neovascular age related macular degeneration. In addition to that, we also had read outs in the advanced breast cancer with alpelisib. This is the PI3-Kinase targeted agent for patients with advanced breast cancer. And European approval for Kisqali and two additional approvals for biosimilars for pegfilgrastim as well for adalimumab. When I looked at our pipeline, I think it’s incredible. We have 26 potential blockbusters, right now, in late stage development. Over ten clinical trials in advanced therapies. I really think we have one of the leading pipelines in the industry. Now, what about from a digital perspective? How did you feel like things went Bertrand? It was a great year, I think. It was the first year since we said go on going big on data and digital. We have probably about 1 500 people mobilized across the organization. We have those 12 big programs that have been initiated, now in full motion across the business. Maybe one note around Biome as well, I think this is really a signal to start ups that we’re open for business and to work more closely with them. The other thing we tried to really transform in the company was culture and Bertrand, how are you feeling about the culture coming from the tech world into Novartis? Well, it has been quite a year from that point of view. It’s the natural appetite that we’ve seen across all the teams to really going for it. We launched a Digital Awareness Hub to demystify what data and digital is all about. But, most importantly to me is also that entrepreneurial drive that we can start seeing. Yeah, we want to create that inspired, curious, unbossed, culture. The other thing we really focused on was returning more to society. Paul, I think with Pharma, we’ve really done a great job with emerging market brands and other ways to really improve access. I think we work extremely hard at trying to make sure we put the patient first, we put affordability first, and then we work with all multiple stakeholders. Gene therapy is a good example of that to make sure that we’re right in the right spot for society. Now, let’s turn to 2019, which is really shaping up again to be an exciting year for the company. I wanted to ask the colleagues: What are you most excited about in 2019? Maybe Bertrand, you want to start? I think 2019, to me, is all about scaling. I think we have great foundations that we’ve set up all together this year but how do we really bring those to the next level? That’s what we are up for. Paul? I’m excited about continued work on innovation. Our commitment to culture, Diversity & Inclusion for sure. But, I’m also excited about the launches. We have Mayzent of course BAF, we’re really excited what it will mean for secondary progressive MS patients. The big Optha launch towards the end of the year. And of course, our moving to gene therapy with SMA. We’re so close now. That platform is going to prove itself to be incredible for patients and just the beginning for us. We’re building off of the AveXis acquisition. We’re building out our platform in cell therapy with Kymriah, and really building global scale there. Also, our sleeper, in a sense, our work in radio drug conjugates with Lutathera, AAA, and we also acquired a company called Endocyte. I’m quite convinced that these three platforms will drive incredible growth for the company in the future. Then, John, I know we have some exciting read outs in 2019 as well. First, we’re going to see the results of Fevipiprant, an oral agent for all those patients that need additional treatment for asthma. We also have Entresto looking at heart failure patients with preserved injection fraction, as well as additional information in Cosentyx that’s coming out in the future. Also, in Oncology, we continue to have great momentum with multiple new blockbusters like Mekinist and Tafinlar, as well as Jakavi, now approaching blockbuster status in the Novartis site territories. We’re also quite excited about the launch of BYL. We’re approaching the launch of SEG101 in sickle cell disease, and we continue to expand Kymriah, our cell therapy for multiple types of B-cell cancers. As we head into 2019, I feel really good about where we are. You can see we have a great leadership team, we have great momentum in the business, we have reaffirmed that we expect to grow top and bottom line for 2019, operationally. But, I think most importantly, I’m excited about the continued cultural transformation we’re making here at the company. I thank all of the associates at Novartis for all of their incredible hard work. I also want to thank all of our external partners, all the patients that participate in our clinical trials. Know that we are deeply committed to having a remarkable impact on health care around the world.

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