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Home Industry News Novartis drug ‘has potential’ in PAH

Novartis drug ‘has potential’ in PAH

8th October 2008

Novartis has announced the publication of early data showing the potential of imatinib as a treatment for pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH).

The company said the exploratory study of the compound showed clinical improvement in patients with PAH, with the company to further explore the potential of the drug in this indication during 2009.

It noted current treatment options in this life-threatening form of pulmonary artery disease have limited benefit.

The results of this early proof-of-concept study were presented at the congress of the European Respiratory Society in Berlin, Germany.

Novartis said imatinib is currently available as Glivec to treat certain cancers which are known to inhibit protein associated with PAH.

It is approved in over 90 countries, including those in the EU, for the treatment of all phases of PH+ CML and is also approved for Kit(CD11y)-positive gastrointestinal tumours.

David Epstein, president and chief executive officer of oncology at Novartis, said: “There is a high unmet need for new treatments that address the underlying mechanisms of PAH.”

He added these trial results support the exploration of the potential of the drug in larger randomised clinical studies.

In August 2008, Novartis said Glivec was the first therapy to reduce the recurrence of gastrointestinal stromal tumours after surgery.

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