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Novartis MS Pill Wins EU Backing as Acorda Rejected

Novartis AG won European Union regulatory backing for its multiple sclerosis drug Gilenya, beating Merck KGaA in a race to sell a pill to slow the crippling disease. Shares of MS drugmaker Acorda Therapeutics Inc. declined the most in 15 months after its competing medicine was rejected.

The European Medicines Agency’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use recommended Novartis be granted approval to market its drug for patients with the relapsing-remitting form of MS, the London-based agency said in a statement today. The European Commission usually adopts the panel’s advice.