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Drug “not effective in higher dose”


Clinical trials have failed to show that a cancer drug made by Novartis is more effective in higher doses, the pharmaceutical company has announced.

Patients with chronic myeloid leukaemia showed no statistically significant improvement when treated with an 800mg dose of Glivec (imatinib) than those who received the standard 400mg dose, which is prescribed currently by doctors.

The drug is also being used in the treatment of certain brain tumours to include high grade glioblastoma, gastrointestinal stromal tumours, systemic mastocytosis, and hypereosinophilic syndrome and dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans.

Glivec – known as Gleevec in the United States – is the second best-selling drug for Novartis after blood pressure medication Diovan. It became a test case by which Novartis challenged India’s patent laws in 2007 but the Indian High Court threw the case out.

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