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Novartis: Pasireotide Works Well In Acromegaly Trial

By Marta Falconi Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES ZURICH -(Dow Jones)- An experimental drug by Novartis (NVS) for the treatment of a rare endocrine disorder is working better than the standard of care in a late-stage clinical trial, the company said Monday. Patients treated with pasireotide LAR, or SOM230, were 63% more likely to achieve control of their disease than those treated with Novartis' Sandostatin LAR, or octreotide, the study showed. The safety profile of pasireotide LAR was similar to that of octreotide LAR, known under the brand name Sandostatin, with the exception of a higher degree of hyperglycemia, Novartis said. "The positive results seen in the Phase III trial point to the potential role of pasireotide LAR in treating patients with acromegaly, a condition for which there remains an unmet need," said Herve Hoppenot, president of Novartis Oncology, in a statement. "These findings are welcome news as we continue our research efforts to discover treatments for patients with pituitary-related conditions." Acromegaly, a rare endocrine disorder caused by excess growth hormone, can result in enlarged hands, feet and internal organs, and increased risk of death. Novartis said the data were presented at the 15th International Congress of Endocrinology and 14th European Congress of Endocrinology meeting in Florence, Italy. The medical meeting runs from May 5 to May 9. -By Marta Falconi, Dow Jones Newswires; +41 43 443 8043; marta.falconi@dowjones.com

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