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Novartis International AG: Novartis accelerates cancer immunotherapy efforts with Aduro Biotech alliance and launch of new immuno-oncology research group

Novartis International AG / Novartis accelerates cancer immunotherapy efforts
with Aduro Biotech allianceand launch of new immuno-oncology research group .
Processed and transmitted by NASDAQ OMX Corporate Solutions.The issuer is
solely responsible for the content of this announcement.
* Collaboration with Aduro is focused on discovery and development of next
generation cancer immunotherapies targeting the STING signaling pathway
* Addition of STING agonists further enhances the diverse Novartis cancer
immunotherapy portfolio that includes novel CAR T-cell therapy and
checkpoint inhibitors
* Glenn Dranoff, MD joins Novartis from Dana Farber Cancer Institute to lead
new research group dedicated to the discovery and development of cancer

Basel, March 30, 2015
Novartis announced today that it is stepping up its efforts to harness the
body's immune system to combat cancer. The company has entered into a major
multiyear alliance with Aduro Biotech that is focused on the discovery and
development of next generation cancer immunotherapies targeting the STING
(Stimulator of Interferon Genes) pathway and launched a new immuno-oncology
research group led by renowned cancer vaccine expert Glenn Dranoff, MD.

The addition of STING agonists adds firepower to Novartis' diverse portfolio
of immunotherapies that includes chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CART)
technology and novel checkpoint inhibitors. Currently the CART program,
CTL019, is in phase 2 clinical trials and checkpoint inhibitors targeting
PD1, LAG3, and TIM3 are expected to enter the clinic in mid-2015.

STING is a signaling pathway that when activated is known to initiate broad
innate and adaptive immune responses in tumors. Aduro's novel small molecule
cyclic dinucleotides (CDN's) have proven to generate an immune response in
preclinical models that specifically attacks tumor cells.

"Immunotherapy is one of the exciting frontiers in oncology today. Current
approaches with checkpoint inhibitors and T-cell modulation are potent but
only in select tumor types. STING agonists have the potential to fully
activate the immune system to attack a broader range of tumors," said Mark
Fishman, President of the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research. "Under
Glenn Dranoff's leadership our new immuno-oncology research group will
aggressively drive our current programs to the clinic and explore new
directions for both mono and combination therapies."

Under the terms of the agreement with Aduro, Novartis will make an upfront
payment of $200 million to Aduro and will make an initial equity investment
in the company for $25 million, with a commitment for another $25 million
equity investment at a future date. Aduro will lead commercialization
activities and book sales in the US, with Novartis leading commercialization
and recognizing sales in the rest of the world. The companies will share in
profits in the US, Japan and major European countries. Novartis will pay
Aduro a royalty for sales in the rest of the world.


The foregoing release contains forward-looking statements that can be
identified by words such as "accelerates," "launch," "focused on,"
"dedicated," "launched," "expected," "potential," "will," "commitment," or
similar terms, or by express or implied discussions regarding potential
marketing approvals for STING agonists, CTL019, and checkpoint inhibitors
targeting PD-1, LAG-3 and TIM-3, or regarding potential future revenues from
such research and development projects, or regarding potential benefits,
synergies and opportunities from the announced alliance with Aduro Biotech
and the new immuno-oncology research group. You should not place undue
reliance on these statements. Such forward-looking statements are based on
the current beliefs and expectations of management regarding future events,
and are subject to significant known and unknown risks and uncertainties.
Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should
underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially
from those set forth in the forward-looking statements. There can be no
guarantee that STING agonists, CTL019, or checkpoint inhibitors targeting
PD-1, LAG-3 or TIM-3 will be submitted or approved for use in any market, or
at any particular time. Neither can there be any guarantee that Novartis will
be able to realize any or all of the potential benefits, synergies or
opportunities from the announced alliance with Aduro Biotech or the new
immuno-oncology research group. Nor can there be any guarantee that the
research and development projects discussed in this release will be
commercially successful in the future. In particular, management's
expectations could be affected by, among other things, the potential that the
benefits, synergies and opportunities anticipated from the announced alliance
with Aduro Biotech or the new immuno-oncology research group may not be fully
realized or may take longer to realize than expected; the uncertainties
inherent in research and development, including unexpected clinical trial
results and additional analysis of existing clinical data; unexpected
regulatory actions or delays or government regulation generally; the
company's ability to obtain or maintain proprietary intellectual property
protection; general economic and industry conditions; global trends toward
health care cost containment, including ongoing pricing pressures; unexpected
manufacturing issues, and other risks and factors referred to in Novartis
AG's current Form 20-F on file with the US Securities and Exchange
Commission. 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 provides innovative healthcare solutions that address the evolving
needs of patients and societies. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland,
Novartis offers a diversified portfolio to best meet these needs: innovative
medicines, eye care and cost-saving generic pharmaceuticals. Novartis is the
only global company with leading positions in these areas. In 2014, the Group
achieved net sales of USD 58 billion, while R&D throughout the Group amounted
to approximately USD 9.9 billion (USD 9.6 billion excluding impairment and
amortization charges). As of December 31, 2014 Novartis Group companies
employed approximately 133,000 full-time-equivalent associates. Novartis
products are available in more than 180 countries around the world. For more
information, please visit

Novartis is on Twitter. Sign up to follow @Novartis

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The issuer of this announcement warrants that they are solely responsible for the content, accuracy and originality of the information contained therein.
Source: Novartis International AG via Globenewswire


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