Novartis said in a press release that Tasigna, a drug currently in development that targets a form of leukemia, seems to treat the disease more effectively than the company's existing medication, Glivec -- sold as Gleevec in the United States.

The company said two-year data from its research indicates that patients who showed evidence of chronic myeloid leukemia after being treated with Glivec had undetectable levels following a switch to the new drug. Novartis characterized its findings as "statistically significant".

The company will launch a clinical trial early next year to ascertain whether patients showing positive results will be able to stop treatment entirely after a certain period of time.


Glivec will lose patent exclusivity in 2015.

The article Novartis Says New Leukemia Drug Shows Promise originally appeared on Fool.com.

Eric Volkman and The Motley Fool have no positions in Novartis. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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