Sandoz launches generic version of Valtrex

Sandoz launches generic version of Valtrex

Princeton, New Jersey;

May 25, 2010 -- Sandoz today announced the introduction in the US of valacyclovir hydrochloride (HCl) tablets, a generic equivalent of Valtrex. Valacyclovir HCl tablets are indicated for treatment of cold sores in adults and pediatric patients over the  the age of 12 and for the treatment of initial and recurrent episodes of genital herpes.

Valacyclovir HCl tablets can also be used as a suppressive therapy in patients with chronic genital herpes and to reduce transmission of the viral infection. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least 45 million people aged 12 and older in the US have had genital herpes virus infection [1]. Valacyclovir HCl tablets are also indicated to treat shingles (herpes zoster).

According to IMS Health, US sales for branded and generic valacyclovir HCl tablets were approximately USD 2.2 billion for the 12 months ending March 2010. Sandoz will market the drug in 500 mg and 1 gram strength tablets, the same strengths marketed for Valtrex .

The foregoing release contains forward-looking statements that can be identified by terminology such as "will", or similar expressions, or by express or implied discussions regarding potential additional marketing approvals or potential future revenues from valacyclovir HCl tablets. You should not place undue reliance on these statements. 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 to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such statements. There can be no guarantee that valacyclovir HCl tablets will be approved for sale in any additional markets, or will achieve any particular levels of revenue in the future. In particular, management's expectations could be affected by, among other things, unexpected regulatory actions or delays or government regulation generally; unexpected patent litigation outcomes; unexpected inabilities to obtain or maintain exclusivity periods for our products; competition in general; government, industry and general public pricing pressures; the impact that the foregoing factors could have on the values attributed to the Novartis Group's assets and liabilities as recorded in the Group's consolidated balance sheet, and other risks and factors referred to in Novartis AG's current Form 20-F