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December 24, 2009

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Novartis swoops on new heart drug

SWISS pharmaceuticals maker Novartis AG said yesterday it would buy United States biopharmaceutical company Corthera Inc for US$120 million, giving it the right to develop a new drug against heart failure.

The acquisition of Corthera is subject to regulatory approval and should be completed by the end of next year, Novartis said.

The privately owned company has been developing relaxin, which is in the third trial phase as a potential treatment for patients with acute heart failure, Novartis said.

Novartis said it would be responsible for completing the development of relaxin and planned to submit requests to put it on the market in the United States and Europe in 2013.

Shares in Novartis were down 0.09 percent at 56.80 Swiss francs (US$54.25) on the Zurich exchange yesterday.


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