New Data for Galvus Provide Further Evidence of Robust Efficacy and Tolerability in Treating Patients with Type 2 Diabetes

* Patients uncontrolled on metformin four times more likely to achieve blood sugar control by adding Galvus to treatment regimen compared to placebo

* Other new data show Galvus well tolerated in patients with mild renal impairment - occurs in about one-third of all type 2 diabetes patients

* Galvus demonstrates robust efficacy and well tolerated in the elderly - the fastest growing group of type 2 diabetes patients

BASEL, Switzerland, September  17,  2007  -  Uncontrolled  patients  with  type  2 diabetes treated  with metformin,  one of  the most  prescribed  oral medicines for this disease,  were four times more likely to achieve recommended  blood   sugar control  levels  by  adding  Galvus® (vildagliptin) to their treatment compared  to those who added  a placebo, according to new clinical data[1].

The study of 544 patients with type 2 diabetes who were  inadequately controlled on metformin showed that 35.5% achieved glycemic  control (HbA1c < 7.0%) when Galvus was added to the treatment regimen  with metformin compared to 9.4% of those  receiving metformin along  with placebo (or sugar pill)[1].

The results further showed that 54.1% of patients in a subset  group with a baseline  HbA1c of less than 8.0% achieved glycemic  control
after taking both Galvus and metformin compared to 13.3% among  those who received metformin and a placebo[1].

HbA1c is a test done  to measure the average  amount of sugar in  the blood over  the  last two  to  three months.  The  American  Diabetes
Association recommends an HbA1c level  of less than 7.0% to  minimize the risk of severe complications, which can include heart  disease,
blindness, amputations, nerve damage and kidney failure[2].

These findings, presented  at the 43rd  European Association for  the Study of  Diabetes  (EASD),  add  to the  growing  evidence  of  data
demonstrating the efficacy and tolerability  of Galvus in treating a wide range of patients  with type 2 diabetes, a progressive  disease
estimated to affect more than 28 million  people in  the European Union[3].

Galvus is  a  member  of  a  new  class  of  medicines  called  DPP-4 inhibitors. European  Union  approval  is  expected  soon  after  the
Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP), which  reviews medicines scientifically in Europe, issued a positive opinion in July 2007. Galvus is expected to be  approved as an add-on therapy to the most common  oral anti-diabetes medicines    -   metformin, thiazolidinediones, and sulfonylureas.

"Clinical trials have consistently  demonstrated the robust  efficacy and good  tolerability of  Galvus  in  combination  with  many  oral
diabetes  therapies," said  James Shannon,  MD,  Global  Head of Development at Novartis Pharma AG.

"Galvus has further proven its benefits in a wide range of  patients, helping to bring blood  sugar levels under  control without the  side
effects, including  weight  gain and  hypoglycemia,  associated with other type 2 diabetes medicines such sulfonylureas or
thiazolidinediones," Dr. Shannon said.

Other data presented  at the  meeting confirmed that  Galvus is well tolerated in patients with mild renal impairment[4], a condition seen n about one-third of  all type 2  diabetes patients[5]. Galvus also elivers strong efficacy and  tolerability in the elderly[6],  the astest growing group of type 2 diabetes patients[7].

Separately, a new analysis of pooled data from 1,864 patients showed the safety and tolerability of Galvus in patients with predominantly
mild renal (kidney) impairment was similar to both placebo as well as to patients who did not have renal impairment[4]. Type 2 diabetes is seen in some countries as the most frequent condition in people with renal impairment[5]. Almost half of all patients treated with Galvus
during the clinical trial program had renal impairment.

Other data presented at the meeting included a  pooled analysis of five monotherapy studies demonstrating the efficacy and safety  of
Galvus in the elderly. This group of 238 patients were all over age 65 and had a mean age of 70. Galvus provided significant blood  sugar
reductions of  1.2% as  measured  by HbA1c,  was well tolerated and associated with a low risk of hypoglycemia[6]. Elderly patients  can
be difficult to treat with existing oral therapies[7].

"It is important to have  new  treatment  options  that  are both effective and well tolerated to address the growing number of elderly patients who  have  type  2  diabetes,"  said Richard  Pratley,  MD, Director of  Diabetes & Metabolism Translational Medicine at  the
University of Vermont. "Clinical data have continually demonstrated that  vildagliptin,  when added  to metformin,  sulfonylureas,
thiazolidinediones or  when  used alone,  effectively  reduces blood sugar levels and is well tolerated in a range of patients."

Galvus is currently available in Brazil and Mexico. In February 2007, Novartis received an "approvable letter" from the US Food and  Drug
Administration (FDA). Novartis  has submitted a proposal to the FDA for additional clinical studies in patients with renal impairment  to
confirm good tolerability  in this patient  group. The submission of additional data to the FDA is expected in 2009.

Galvus works through  a novel  mechanism of action by targeting  the dysfunction in the pancreatic islets  that causes high blood sugar
levels in people with type 2 diabetes. Islet dysfunction, along with insulin resistance, is a contributory factor in type 2 diabetes. The
most frequent side effects seen  in the Galvus clinical program were stuffy  nose,  headaches,  dizziness and  upper  respiratory  tract
infection.

In most developed nations,  diabetes is the  fourth leading cause  of death[7]. Controlling  blood sugar  levels is difficult, even  among
patients receiving treatment,  and more  than half  of patients with type 2 diabetes currently taking  medicines are  still not  reaching
their blood sugar  goals[8]. When  left untreated or  not kept  under control, type 2 diabetes can  lead  to heart  and  kidney  disease,
blindness and vascular or neurological problems[7].

Disclaimer
The foregoing release contains forward-looking statements that can be identified by terminology such  as "more likely", "can",  "expected",
or  similar  expressions,  or  by  express  or  implied   discussions regarding potential  regulatory  approvals for  Galvus  or  regarding
potential  future   revenues   from  Galvus.   Such   forward-looking statements reflect the current views of the Company regarding  future
events, and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and  other factors that may cause  actual results with  Galvus to be  materially
different  from  any  future  results,  performance  or  achievements expressed or implied by  such statements. There  can be no  guarantee
that Galvus will be approved for sale in the US, in the EU, or in any other market. Nor can there be any guarantee that Galvus will achieve
any particular  levels  of  revenue in  the  future.  In  particular, management's expectations  regarding  Galvus could  be  affected  by,
among other  things,  unexpected  regulatory  actions  or  delays  or government regulation generally;  unexpected clinical trial  results,
including unexpected  new  clinical data  and  unexpected  additional analysis  of  existing   clinical  data;   competition  in   general;
government,  industry  and  general  public  pricing  pressures;  the company's ability to obtain or  maintain patent or other  proprietary
intellectual  property  protection;  and  other  risks  and   factors referred to in Novartis  AG's current Form 20-F  on file with the  US
Securities and Exchange Commission. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions  prove
incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those anticipated, believed,  estimated   or  expected.   Novartis  is   providing   the
information in  this press  release  as of  this  date and  does  not undertake any  obligation to  update any  forward-looking  statements
contained in  this press  release  as a  result of  new  information, future events or otherwise.

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.

References
[1] Dejager S, et al. Achievement of Glycemic Targets with
Vildagliptin. Presented at EASD 17-21 September 2007 (Abstract
A-07-899).
[2] American Diabetes Association. "Diabetes and Cardiovascular
(Heart) Disease."
http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-statistics/heart-disease.jsp
[3] International Diabetes Federation (IDF) Diabetes Atlas estimates there are 31 million people with diabetes in the European Union. The
IDF estimates that in developed nations, 85-95% of all cases of diabetes are type 2 diabetes. 90% of those with diabetes equates to 28 million with type 2 diabetes in the European Union.
[4] Thuren T, et al. Vildagliptin is Safe and Well Tolerated in Patients with Mild or Moderate Renal Impairment. Presented at EASD 17-21 September 2007 (Abstract A-07-1190).
[5] International Diabetes Federation. Fact sheet Diabetes and kidney disease. 2007
[6] Pratley R, et al. Efficacy and Safety of Vildagliptin in the Elderly: Pooled Analysis of 5 Monotherapy Studies. Presented at EASD 17-21 September 2007 (Abstract A-07-917).
[7] International Diabetes Federation. Diabetes Atlas Third Edition. 2006.
[8] Saydah S, et al. Poor Control of Risk Factors for Vascular Disease Among Adults with Previously Diagnosed Diabetes. JAMA 2004;
291(3):335-342.

                              

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Posted: September 2007

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