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Novartis seeks to expand cancer drug portfolio


BASEL, Switzerland Novartis hopes to maintain what it calls its leading global position in cancer treatments with a wave of regulatory submissions in the coming year, the Swiss drug maker announced at a recent investors meeting.

By the end of the 2009, the company plans to file regulatory approval applications seeking to expand the use of Tasigna (nilotinib) and Zometa (zoledronic acid) as treatments for various cancers and make as many as five other regulatory submissions in 2010 for Afinitor (everolimus) and drugs in clinical trials.

“We have a productive and innovative pipeline that holds promise for many patients,” Novartis Pharmaceuticals Division CEO Joe Jimenez said. “The benefits of our sustained R&D investments are reflected in the nearly 30 major regulatory approvals achieved so far in 2009 in the U.S., Europe, Japan and China. A further 27 projects are currently in late-stage clinical trials, while eight more projects are awaiting regulatory decisions.”

Drugs in clinical development include SOM230 (pasireotide), for which Novartis will seek approval in 2010 as a treatment for Cushing’s disease, carcinoid tumors and acromegaly, and LBH589 (panobinostat), for which the company will seek approval that same year as a Hodgkins lymphoma treatment.

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