Novartis discontinues development of two investigational compounds reflecting enhanced focus on portfolio prioritization and productivity
* Human Genome Sciences and Novartis to stop further development of albinterferon alfa-2b, an investigational compound for the treatment of adults with chronic hepatitis C
* Novartis to discontinue development of Mycograb (efungumab), an antifungal agent being assessed for the treatment of invasive candidiasis in adult patients
* Related impairment and other charges of approximately USD 590 million to be taken in third quarter of 2010; expected to be partially offset by gain on divestment of Enablex® of approximately USD 390 million to be recognized in fourth quarter 2010
* Strategic focus remains on differentiated products and agents most likely to address unmet patient need
Basel, - Novartis announced today that it discontinued the development of two investigational compounds in its pharmaceutical pipeline, reflecting enhanced focus on differentiated medicines most likely to address unmet medical needs.
Novartis and Human Genome Sciences decided to stop further global development of the investigational compound albinterferon alfa-2b* for the treatment of adults with chronic hepatitis C. The decision was based on feedback from EU and US regulatory authorities as well as on new data from a phase II study conducted with the monthly dosing of albinterferon. An intangible asset impairment charge of approximately USD 230 million will be taken in the third quarter of 2010 in the Novartis Pharmaceuticals division.
Novartis further decided to stop clinical development of Mycograb (efungumab), an antifungal agent being assessed as an add-on therapy to treat invasive candidiasis in adult patients. Following this decision, an intangible asset impairment and other related charges of approximately USD 360 million will be taken in the third quarter of 2010 in the Novartis Pharmaceuticals Division.
The impairment charges are expected to be partially offset through the proceeds received from the sale of the US rights for Enablex® (darifenacin) to Warner Chilcott for USD 400 million, as announced on September 24, 2010. A gain of approximately USD 390 million will be recorded in the fourth quarter of 2010.
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Novartis provides healthcare solutions that address the evolving needs of patients and societies. Focused solely on healthcare, Novartis offers a diversified portfolio to best meet these needs: innovative medicines, cost-saving generic pharmaceuticals, preventive vaccines, diagnostic tools and consumer health products. Novartis is the only company with leading positions in these areas. In 2009, the Group’s continuing operations achieved net sales of USD 44.3 billion, while approximately USD 7.5 billion was invested in R&D activities throughout the Group. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis Group companies employ approximately 102,000 full-time-equivalent associates and operate in more than 140 countries around the world. For more information, please visit http://www.novartis.com.
*Albinterferon 2b is also known with the brand names Joulferon® in Europe and Zalbin(TM) in US
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