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Tekturna, First New Type of High Blood Pressure Medicine in a,Decade, Provides Additional Blood Pressure Reduction When Used With,Diovan

* New study results show more patients receiving both Tekturna and Diovan reached target blood pressure goal compared to those taking either agent alone

EAST HANOVER, N.J., March 26, 2007 /PRNewswire/ -- Results from a new study have shown patients taking two Novartis cardiovascular medicines -- the recently U.S.-approved drug Tekturna(R) (aliskiren) and the leading therapy Diovan(R) (valsartan) -- experienced greater reductions in blood pressure levels than those using either agent alone.

The study also found more patients receiving both Tekturna, which received U.S. approval in March and represents the first type of new high blood pressure medicine in a decade, and Diovan reached their treatment goal compared to either drug alone (ACC presentation #405).

Data from this trial involving 1,800 patients -- the first large-scale study to assess the potential benefits of combining these medicines -- were presented for the first time at the of Cardiology 56th Scientific Session in New Orleans.

Half of the patients in the eight-week trial taking both Tekturna and Diovan saw a reduction in blood pressure to the target of 140/90 mmHg (systolic/diastolic pressure), higher levels than seen in patients taking either of the medicines alone.

Tekturna and Diovan work in different ways to target the renin angiotensin system, one of the body's key regulators of blood pressure. Tekturna targets renin, an enzyme responsible for triggering a process that can lead to high blood pressure. Diovan, an angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) and one of the world's most-prescribed cardiovascular medicines, works later in this system by blocking the action of angiotensin II, which causes narrowing of blood vessels.

"These study results are exciting because they suggest the value of different mechanisms of action when Tekturna and Diovan are used together," said Suzanne Oparil, MD, Director of the Vascular B
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