Novartis expects new drugs to boost sales by at least 4% until 2026

A sign marks the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research facility in Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S., June 16, 2021. REUTERS/Brian Snyder/File Photo

ZURICH, Dec 2 (Reuters) - Novartis (NOVN.S) is confident of delivering annual revenue growth of 4% or higher until 2026, as it banks on multi-billion dollar sales of experimental and approved drugs including arthritis and psoriasis medicine Cosentyx.

Sales from these new products is expected to exceed and make up for a $9 billion hit from launches of copycat versions of its products in this period, the Swiss drugmaker on Thursday said in a presentation ahead of an investor briefing.

The update comes weeks after Novartis said it would sell its stake in Roche (ROG.S) to simplify its structure and focus on key offerings against diseases such as arthritis and cancer, following the launch of a review of its generic-drug unit Sandoz.

Novartis also expects core margins in innovative medicines to reach the high 30s by 2026, adding it had up to 20 assets in its pipeline that had blockbuster potential - meaning they could eventually yield annual sales of at least $1 billion.

The company said it was committed to maintain a strong and growing dividend in Swiss francs.

Reporting by Silke Koltrowitz in Zurich and Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru; Editing by Zuzanna Szymanska and Arun Koyyur

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