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Novartis and Anne Geddes unveil inspirational eBook featuring meningitis survivors in honor of World Meningitis Day

April 23, 2014 - London

Novartis International AG /Novartis and Anne Geddes unveil inspirational eBook featuring meningitis survivors in honor of World Meningitis Day . Processed and transmitted by NASDAQ OMX Corporate Solutions.The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

  • Protecting Our Tomorrows: Portraits of Meningococcal Disease eBook features 15 survivors from around the world; eBook available for free download on iBooks
  • Approximately 500,000 cases of meningococcal disease occur worldwide each year, causing about 50,000 deaths; infants and adolescents most at risk[1],[2]
  • Novartis is committed to working with patient groups and public health officials to ensure every child at risk receives vaccination against this devastating disease

Basel, April 23, 2014 - Novartis, in partnership with world-renowned  photographer Anne Geddes, the Confederation of meningitis Organisations (CoMO) and charities around the world, has announced the publication of an eBook featuring inspirational images of  meningococcal disease survivors from across the globe who have participated in the Protecting Our Tomorrows: Portraits of Meningococcal Disease campaign. This project aims to raise public awareness of a rare but potentially deadly disease and the importance of vaccination in helping to prevent the disease. The eBook will be available for free download exclusively on iBooks® tomorrow, April 24, 2014, in honor of the sixth annual World meningitis Day, at the following link:

"Through a series of what I believe are inspirational photographs of meningococcal disease survivors and families impacted by the disease, this project celebrates the survivors' triumphs and honors those who've tragically lost their lives," said Ms. Geddes. "Over my 30-year career, there is not one parent I have worked with who doesn't love their children, want to nurture their children and protect their children. Through these images, I hope parents feel empowered to understand the disease's impact and know the options available to them."

"Through decades of research, Novartis has developed vaccines which helped to significantly reduce the incidence of some of the most common and serious strains of meningococcal disease across the world," said Andrin Oswald, Division Head, Novartis Vaccines. "Much more can and should be done to make sure every child at risk gets vaccinated. This is the mission of our company. A mission that we try to fulfill to the best of our abilities and as responsibly as we can, working together with the many patient groups, physicians and public health officials who are as determined as we are."

Meningococcal disease is a sudden, aggressive and life-threatening disease, with infants and adolescents at the greatest risk[3],[2]. Five main groups of meningococcal bacteria (A, B, C, W135 and Y) cause virtually all cases of the disease around the world, with serogroup B being the greatest cause in the developed world[4],[5]. Novartis is a leader in developing innovative vaccines, and is the only company with licensed vaccines for all five serogroups including B. 

The eBook is the culmination of a worldwide project launched in 2013, aiming to raise awareness of this rare but aggressive disease that can leave its victims with life-long complications, such as brain damage, learning disabilities, hearing loss and limb loss[3],[6]. Ms. Geddes traveled the world to meet the 15 project participants from eight countries (Australia, Canada, Brazil, Germany, Ireland, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States) and to depict their resilience through their portraits. As global project ambassador, Ms. Geddes has also worked to foster awareness and encourage meningococcal disease education through meetings with journalists, patient advocacy organizations and public officials. Throughout her journey, she also chronicled her experiences on the campaign's Tumblr page (

This press release contains expressed or implied forward-looking statements, including statements that can be identified by terminology such as "committed," "mission," or similar expressions. Such forward-looking statements reflect the current views of the Group 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 expressed or implied by such statements. These expectations could be affected by, among other things, risks and factors referred to in the Risk Factors section of 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 it in the future.

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, cost-saving generic pharmaceuticals, preventive vaccines and diagnostic tools, over-the-counter and animal health products. Novartis is the only global company with leading positions in these areas. In 2013, the Group achieved net sales of USD 57.9 billion, while R&D throughout the Group amounted to approximately USD 9.9 billion (USD 9.6 billion excluding impairment and amortization charges). Novartis Group companies employ approximately 136,000 full-time-equivalent associates and operate in more than 140 countries around the world.
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[1] Kimmel, Sanford R. Using the tetravalent meningococcal polysaccharide-protein conjugate vaccine in the prevention of meningococcal disease. Journal of Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management. Aug 2008; 4(4): 739-745.
[2] Cohn, A. et al. Changes in Neisseria meningitides Disease Epidemiology in the United States, 1998-2007: Implications for Prevention of Meningococcal Disease. Clinical Infectious Diseases 2010:50.
[3] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases (The Pink Book: Course Textbook). 12th Edition, 2nd printing. May 2012 update. Available at: Accessed April 2014.
[4] Immunization Action Coalition. meningitis: Questions & Answers. Available at: Accessed April 2014.
[5] World Health Organization. Bacterial meningitis. Available at: Accessed April 2014.
[6] World Health Organization. Meningococcal meningitis Fact Sheet 141. Accessed April 2014.

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Source: Novartis International AG via Globenewswire



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