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Last Updated: Nov 17th, 2006 - 22:35:04

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Latest Research : Respiratory Medicine : COPD

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AD 237 : An Inhaled Long-acting Anti-muscarinic for the Treatment of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease in Phase II
Apr 18, 2005, 09:03, Reviewed by: Dr.

The compound is in Phase II trials for the treatment of COPD and studies have thus far demonstrated that it is well-tolerated and effective over 24 hours after a single dose.

Novartis announced that it has signed a global development and commercialization agreement with Vectura Group plc and Arakis Ltd. for AD 237, an inhaled, long-acting, anti-muscarinic agent for the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Novartis will be responsible for further development of AD 237 both as monotherapy and in combination with QAB149, its once-daily, long-acting beta2 agonist currently in Phase II clinical development.

Developed to date through a joint venture between Arakis and Vectura, AD 237 is a once-daily, long-acting muscarinic antagonist (LAMA) with a fast onset of action.

The compound is in Phase II trials for the treatment of COPD and studies have thus far demonstrated that it is well-tolerated and effective over 24 hours after a single dose. AD 237 has been developed using Vectura's proprietary PowderHale® inhalation technology for delivering product to the lung and optimizing fine particle fraction delivery through a commercially available dry-powder inhaler device.

"With this agreement, our late stage pipeline now contains two promising bronchodilator drugs, QAB149 and AD 237 for the treatment of COPD," said Joerg Reinhardt, Head of Development, Novartis Pharma AG. "Both products have significant therapeutic potential, either as single agents or combination therapies. Respiratory disease is one of our key therapeutic areas of focus, and we are delighted to expand our franchise and provide patients with important new therapeutic solutions."

COPD, the world's fourth largest cause of death, is an irreversible and chronic obstruction of the airways which is caused primarily by smoking. It is estimated that the disease is prevalent in 4% of the population in the USA, Europe and Japan, and that at least one in 15 smokers suffers from it. Symptoms include chronic bronchitis and emphysema or both conditions, which slowly progress and eventually lead to a largely irreversible loss of lung function. The current market for COPD drug therapy is estimated to be worth $4 billion per annum and is predicted to grow to $10 billion by 2010.

Under the terms of the agreement Arakis and Vectura will receive an initial payment and additional milestone payments based upon the achievement of agreed clinical, regulatory and commercialisation targets. In addition, royalties on product sales will be paid for both the monotherapy and combination products. All payments by Novartis will be shared equally by Arakis and Vectura.

- Novartis


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The foregoing press release contains forward-looking statements that can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "will", "promising", "potential", "is estimated", "is predicted", or similar expressions, or by express or implied discussions regarding the potential development and commercialization of AD 237 and QAB149. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such statements. There can be no guarantee that the agreement that is the subject of this release will lead to commercialization of AD 237 or QAB149 in any market. Any such commercialization can be affected by, among other things, uncertainties relating to product development and clinical trials; regulatory actions or delays or government regulation generally; the ability to obtain or maintain patent or other proprietary intellectual property protection and competition in general; government, industry, and general public pricing pressures; as well as factors discussed in the Company's Form 20-F filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those described herein as anticipated, believed, estimated or expected. Novartis is providing this information as of this date and does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this document as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

About Novartis

Novartis AG (NYSE: NVS) is a world leader in pharmaceuticals and consumer health. In 2004, the Group's businesses achieved sales of USD 28.2 billion and a net income of USD 5.8 billion. The Group invested approximately USD 4.2 billion in R&D. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis Group companies employ about 81,400 people and operate in over 140 countries around the world. For further information please consult http://www.novartis.com.


John Taylor
Novartis Global Pharma Communications
+41 61 324 6715 (direct)
+41-79-593 4279 (mobile)

John Gilardi
Novartis Global Media Relations
+41 61 324 3018 (direct)
+41 61-324-2200

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