RF a player in OK of cancer treatment

EAST HANOVER, NJ: Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis made

headlines last week by announcing FDA approval for Glivec, a new drug

for treating chronic myeloid leukemia. The decision comes after nearly

18 months of advance-issues management and media relations.

Corporate communications director Gloria Stone said Novartis retained

Ruder Finn (RF) in the fall of 1999 to lay the groundwork for the

introduction of Glivec, or imatinib mesylate.

The drug, whose application was filed only 32 months after its first

tested dosage in human trials, is considered one of the fastest new

cancer treatments ever developed and approved. RF and Stone's team have

been educating the medical and media communities about the results of

the trials, and communicating access to potential patients.

Novartis has enlisted Cooper Communications to handle media outreach

surrounding the recent FDA approval.

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