Novartis’ Gleevec lowers risk of leukemia progression in study

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Novartis said Monday that a new study showed the longer patients with a certain form of chronic myeloid leukemia took its Gleevec pill, the lower the risk that their cancer was progressing to the advanced phases of the disease, The Wall Street Journal reports.
The study, presented at the American Society of Hematology meeting in Atlanta, comprises 1,106 patients newly diagnosed with Philadelphia chromosome-positive chronic myeloid leukemia. It also showed that after 54 months, more than 90% of patients receiving Gleevec were still alive. Chronic myeloid leukemia, or CML, is a slowly progressing cancer that makes the body produce too many cancerous myeloid white blood cells.
Gleevec is Novartis' second-best selling product behind high-blood pressure treatment Diovan.
Sales of Gleevec rose 35% in the nine months to Sept. 30, to $1.6 billion.
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