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Positive Results Prompt US National Cancer Institute to Make Glivec,Available to Patients in Post-Surgical GIST Study

* Glivec found to dramatically reduce the risk of cancer returning after surgery for Kit-positive gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST)

* Patients receiving placebo in this trial will now be offered Glivec

* Global regulatory submissions planned for use of Glivec as adjuvant therapy in GIST patients following surgery to remove primary tumor

* Glivec already approved as effective therapy for patients with advanced metastatic or inoperable Kit-positive GIST

BASEL, Switzerland, April 12, 2007 - Investigators will begin offering Glivec® (imatinib)[*] to patients receiving placebo in a major North American clinical trial after after an interim analysis showed participants with Kit-positive gastrointestinal stromal tumors treated with Glivec following surgery were significantly less likely to experience a return of their cancer compared to those not taking this innovative therapy.

The interim analysis showed no recurrence of cancer in approximately 97% of patients given Glivec for a year after surgery to remove tumors, compared to approximately 83% of those who underwent surgery but received a placebo. The investigators made these results public because the study had met its primary endpoint in terms of the rate of recurrence-free survival.

The study involving more than 600 patients was sponsored by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), which is part of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH). It was conducted at multiple cancer centers in the US and Canada, and was led by the American College of Surgeons Oncology Group. Novartis supplied Glivec for use in the study, and also provided partial funding under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with NCI to support the clinical development of Glivec.

Glivec has already been confirmed as an effective therapy in its approved use for patients with advanced metastatic or unresectable (inoperable) Kit-positi
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