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Photo: New Data Show Gleevec(R) Halts Progression to Advanced Stages of Life-Threatening Form of Leukemia in Sixth Year of Treatment
Date:12/9/2007

- Risk of disease progression continues to drop from the second year of treatment; no patients taking Gleevec in sixth year progressed from initial

disease phase - Long-term survival trend may suggest many patients could approach normal

life expectancy with continued treatment

EAST HANOVER, N.J., Dec. 9 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- New data from the largest clinical trial in newly diagnosed patients with a life-threatening form of leukemia showed that long-term use of Gleevec(R) (imatinib mesylate) tablets(1) can halt progression to advanced disease stages in the sixth year of treatment.

To view the Multimedia News Release, go to: http://www.prnewswire.com/mnr/novartis/31035/

Results of the International Randomized Interferon versus STI571 (IRIS) study reveal that after two years of treatment the rate of disease progression continued to decline and fell to 0% in the study's sixth year. In addition, the estimated overall six-year survival rate for patients treated with Gleevec was 88%.

Lead investigators presented the latest findings from this landmark study involving more than 1,100 newly diagnosed patients with a form of the disease known as Philadelphia chromosome-positive (Ph+) chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) at the 49th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH).

Patients in the initial (chronic) phase of CML who received continuous treatment with Gleevec did not progress to advanced stages of the disease. Without treatment, CML typically progresses over three to five years from the initial phase through a transition (accelerated) phase to a rapidly fatal form called blast crisis(1).

"If this survival trend continues, many patients with CML may approach normal life expectancy with continued Gleevec treatment," said Brian Druker, MD, director of the Oregon Health & Scienc
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SOURCE Novartis
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