Novartis AG Drug Works to Treat Rare Cushing's Disease

Published: Nov 06, 2012

Novartis AG (NOVN)’s treatment for Cushing’s disease works, potentially providing a second marketed therapy for the rare condition, U.S. regulators said. The drug known as pasireotide decreases levels of the hormone cortisol, which in excess cause Cushing’s, Food and Drug Administration staff said today in a report. The disease leads to obesity, skin that bruises easily, excess hair growth in women and decreased sexual desire in men, according to the National Institutes of Health. The drug, which Basel, Switzerland-based Novartis proposes calling Signifor and is approved in Europe, would be an alternative to surgery to remove tumors that are the cause of the excess hormone. The FDA approved in February the first treatment for Cushing’s, which is a once-daily pill from Corcept Therapeutics Inc. (CORT) called Korlym. An FDA advisory committee is scheduled on Nov. 7 to review the therapy.

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