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Once-Daily Exjade(R) Shown to Remove Toxic Iron From the Heart and Liver, According to Data Presented at ASH
Date:12/12/2007

Approximately 78% of Beta-thalassaemia Patients had Decreases in Cardiac Iron and 90% had Decreases in Liver Iron After Six Months, Interim Data

Show(1) Study in Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) Patients With Iron Overload Showed

Continued Safety and Efficacy Over Two Years(2) Safety and Efficacy Demonstrated in Lower-Risk Myelodysplastic Syndromes

(MDS) Patients(3)

FRIMLEY, England, December 12 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- New data show once-daily Exjade(R) (deferasirox) reduces life-threatening iron levels in the heart and liver in beta-thalassaemia patients. These interim results from an ongoing trial show that at, six months, approximately 78 percent of participants had decreases in cardiac iron and 90 percent of patients had decreases in hepatic iron. These results were reported at the 49th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Haematology (ASH) in Atlanta, 8-11 December 2007.(1)

Chronic iron overload is a potentially life-threatening condition that results from frequent blood transfusions required to treat certain types of chronic blood disorders, including sickle cell disease (SCD), thalassaemia, and myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and other anaemias. If left undiagnosed or untreated, excess iron in the body can become toxic, causing damage to the heart and liver, ultimately leading to death.(4)

"These preliminary data are very encouraging. At a dose of 30 mg/kg, Exjade lowered both heart and liver iron levels in most patients," said Dr Farrukh Shah, Consultant Haematologist, The Whittington Hospital NHS Trust. "These data add to the growing body of evidence that Exjade successfully removes iron from the heart. This is particularly important because iron cardiotoxicity remains the leading cause of death in thalassaemia major patients."

The body has no inherent mechanism to remove excess iron, so iron chelation is used as an effective treatment
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SOURCE Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK Ltd
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