July 19, 2019 / 6:14 AM / in a month

Novartis's older MS drug Gilenya wins Chinese approval

FILE PHOTO: Swiss drugmaker Novartis' logo is seen at the company's plant in the northern Swiss town of Stein, Switzerland October 23, 2017. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

ZURICH (Reuters) - Novartis’s Gilenya multiple sclerosis drug has won approval in China, the Swiss drugmaker said on Friday, as the company expands further into the world’s most-populous country’s growing healthcare sector.

Nearly a decade after its U.S. approval, Gilenya remains Novartis’s No. 2 revenue generator at $825 million in the second quarter. The Basel-based company is defending patents on Gilenya in the United States to block generic rivals, while eying countries including China to expand the medicine’s international sales.

Reporting by John Miller; Editing by Thomas Seythal

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