Novartis strikes again: New drug shows blockbuster potential

Only yesterday, Swiss drug company Novartis AG (NVS) announced it agreed to acquire the specialty generic injectables business of Austrian Ebewe Pharma for $1.2 billion in cash, grabbing two growth sectors with one deal: generic and cancer drugs.

Today, Novartis released Phase III data for a new medicine -- investigational bronchodilator QAB149, which showed it significantly improved lung function over current treatments in patients suffering from COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). Not only that, but the drug has the potential to become a blockbuster -- a $1 billion-a-year seller.