Novartis says Afinitor reduces tumors in rare genetic disease

Fri Jan 11, 2013 6:08am GMT

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* Phase III data in The Lancet show efficiency of drug

* Afinitor already approved in U.S. and Europe for TSC

ZURICH Jan 11 (Reuters) - Novartis said its drug Afinitor helped reduce kidney tumors linked to tuberous sclerosis complex, or TSC, a rare genetic disease that causes tumors to grow in the brain and other vital organs.

Data on a late-stage study was published in latest edition of The Lancet medical journal. Another recent issue of the journal also featured positive results from a separate trial on the drug, Novartis said.

The Basel-based company has already won approval for Afinitor in the U.S. and Europe to treat this type of tumor.

TSC causes multiple tumors in both kidneys that compress normal tissue, leading to kidney failure and bleeding.

The disorder affects roughly two million people worldwide. Novartis' treatment, known generically as everolimus, is a pill taken once daily that blocks the activity of a protein that plays a critical role in the development and growth of non-cancerous tumors. (Reporting By Katharina Bart; Editing by Kim Coghill)