Novartis completes agreement with Bayer Schering related to Betaseron®

Novartis AGNovartis has completed an agreement with Bayer Schering Pharma AG (Bayer Schering) related to various rights for the multiple sclerosis treatment Betaseron®[1] (interferon beta-1b) and has received a one-time payment of approximately USD 200 million.

As part of the transaction, which was announced in March 2007, Novartis has transferred manufacturing responsibility to Bayer Schering for interferon beta-1b and received the one-time payment for the transfer of production equipment, inventory and the leasing of buildings at a site in Emeryville, California.

Novartis will continue to receive royalties until October 2008 from Bayer Schering for its global sales of Betaseron, which is an injectable treatment of relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis - a disease estimated to affect more than 2.5 million patients worldwide and one of the leading causes of neurological disability in young adults.

Novartis will be supported by Bayer Schering in the regulatory filing process of a Novartis-branded version of Betaseron, and this product is expected to be introduced in 2009. The launch of this brand is expected to give Novartis an increasing presence in treating patients with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis ahead of its anticipated submission of a once-daily oral therapy FTY720 (fingolimod), which is currently in Phase III trials. Novartis expects to submit FTY720 for US and EU approvals in 2009.

Betaseron is currently marketed by Bayer Schering, which was created after Bayer acquired Schering in 2006. In 1993, Schering signed an agreement with Chiron Corporation (Chiron) covering the regulatory filing, development and supply of Betaseron. Novartis acquired Chiron in 2006. Novartis assumed the rights to this product through the purchase of Chiron.

About Novartis
Novartis AG (NYSE: NVS) is a world leader in offering medicines to protect health, cure 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. We are strengthening our medicine-based portfolio, which is focused on strategic growth platforms in innovation-driven pharmaceuticals, high-quality and low-cost generics, human vaccines and leading self-medication OTC brands. Novartis is the only company with leadership positions in these areas. In 2006, the Group's businesses achieved net sales of USD 37.0 billion and net income of USD 7.2 billion. Approximately USD 5.4 billion was invested in R&D. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis Group companies employ more than 100,000 associates and operate in over 140 countries around the world. For more information, please visit http://www.novartis.com.

[1] Marketed as Betaferon® in Europe

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