January 24, 2014 / 6:56 AM / 4 years ago

Novartis exec still sees serelaxin as blockbuster after EU blow

ZURICH, Jan 24 (Reuters) - Novartis still believes its heart failure drug serelaxin has "blockbuster" potential of more than $1 billion in annual sales, despite a setback from the European health regulator.

"We would expect sales to be modest initially, but then really take off after the second clinical trial proves its mortality benefit," the Basel-based company's pharmaceutical head David Epstein told journalists on Friday.

Earlier, Novartis said it would ask the European health regulator to look at serelaxin again after the body took an unfavourable position on it.

Reporting By Katharina Bart; Editing by Jeremy Laurence

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