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Launch of Highly Targeted Cancer Treatment Tasigna(R) (nilotinib) Offers Potential Lifeline to Ph+ CML Patients Intolerant or Resistant to Existing Therapies, Including Glivec(R) (imatinib)
Date:5/19/2008

FRIMLEY, England, May 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ --

- Tasigna(R) (nilotinib) Effective in 77% of Patients Resistant or Intolerant to Prior Treatment in the Chronic (Early) Phase of Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia (CML)(1)

- Highly Targeted Nature of Tasigna(R) Tackles the Root Cause of CML Whilst Providing an Acceptable Tolerability Profile for Patients(1)(2)

- Tasigna Expands CML Portfolio for Novartis, Providing Effective Treatment Options for the Majority of Patients With Tasigna(R) and the CML Gold-Standard, Glivec(R)(imatinib)

Tasigna(R) (nilotinib) is now available in the UK as a new option to treat adult patients who are intolerant or resistant to previous therapies for Philadelphia chromosome positive (Ph+) chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML). The availability of Tasigna(R) means that the majority of patients with CML can now be effectively treated, even those who did not respond to or cannot tolerate previous therapies including Glivec(R) (imatinib).

Data that led to the European approval of Tasigna(R) show that 77% of patients who had no haematological response when they started taking Tasigna(R) achieved a complete haematological response with the drug (ie. blood cell counts returned to normal)(1); Furthermore 40% of patients achieved a complete cytogenic response(1) (meaning that no abnormal chromosomes, the root cause of CML, are detected in the bone marrow cells)(1). At 12 months the overall survival rate was 95%(1).

Based on the success of the current gold standard treatment for CML, Glivec(R) (imatinib), also made by Novartis, scientists developed Tasigna(R) to more specifically target the cause of CML (Bcr-Abl). Other newer treatments for CML have a broad mechanism of action which can lead to increased side effects. The highly targeted nature of Tasigna(R) means that it has a positive tolerability profile(2) and few patients who suffered side effects from other therapies suffered the same significant side effect
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SOURCE Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK Ltd
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