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Novartis receives European Commission approval to acquire Chiron


Basel, February 6, 2006 - Novartis announced today that it has received approval from the European Commission to acquire the remaining shares of Chiron Corporation that it does not currently own. This follows approval by the US Federal Trade Commission in December 2005 and clearance by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US under Exon-Florio in January 2006.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission’s review of Chiron’s Proxy Statement is ongoing and is expected to be completed during the first quarter of 2006. Following this review, a meeting of Chiron shareholders to vote on the merger will be scheduled.

This document contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the US Private Securities Litigation Reform Act. Forward-looking statements are statements that are not historical facts and are generally identified by the words “is expected”, “will”, or similar expressions, or by express or implied discussions regarding strategies, plans and expectations (including synergies). These statements include, but are not limited to, financial projections and estimates and their underlying assumptions, statements regarding the benefits of the business transactions described herein, including future financial and operating results. Such statements reflect the current plans, expectations, objectives, intentions or views of management with respect to future events, are based on the current beliefs and expectations of management and are subject to significant risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Management’s expectations could be affected by, among other things, competition in general, the general economic environment and other risks such as, but not limited to, those referred to in Novartis AG’s Form 20-F on file with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may differ materially from those set forth or implied by the forward-looking statements.

About Novartis
Novartis AG (NYSE: NVS) is a world leader in offering medicines to protect health, treat disease and improve well-being. Our goal is to discover, develop and successfully market innovative products to treat patients, ease suffering and enhance the quality of life. Novartis is the only company with leadership positions in both patented and generic pharmaceuticals. We are strengthening our medicine-based portfolio, which is focused on strategic growth platforms in innovation-driven pharmaceuticals, high-quality and low-cost generics and leading self-medication OTC brands. In 2005, the Group’s businesses achieved net sales of USD 32.2 billion and net income of USD 6.1 billion. Approximately USD 4.8 billion was invested in R&D. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis Group companies employ approximately 91,000 people and operate in over 140 countries around the world. For more information, please visit


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