Noven/Novartis Joint Venture Launches World's Smallest Transdermal Estrogen Delivery System

Commences Marketing & Sale of Vivelle-Dot™ Comfortable, Adherent Patch is Well-Suited for Active Lifestyles Joint Venture Adopts Novogyne Pharmaceuticals Name

-- Noven Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:NOVN) today announced the U.S. launch of Vivelle-Dot™ (estradiol transdermal system), the world’s smallest transdermal estrogen delivery system, which is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of the symptoms of menopause. The new product, developed and manufactured by Noven, is marketed and sold by Vivelle Ventures LLC, a women’s health products company jointly owned by Noven and Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation.

Like the original Vivelle® (estradiol transdermal system), Vivelle-Dot™ is available in four dosage strengths (.0375, .05, .075 and .10 mg/day), and provides prescribing physicians with broad dosing flexibility. In the most commonly prescribed dosage strength (.05 mg/day), Vivelle-Dot™ is about the size and thickness of a postage stamp. By area, it is about one-third the size of Climara® (Berlex) and about one-quarter the size of Estraderm® (Novartis), the current U.S. market leaders.

"Our market research indicated that patients would prefer a smaller, less conspicuous estrogen patch that is well-suited to an active lifestyle," said Neil Jones, Noven’s Executive Director of Sales and Marketing. "In response, Noven engineered a new generation system – by far the smallest available – that is thin, virtually translucent and extremely adherent, permitting patients to exercise, shower and swim without the need to change patches. Vivelle-Dot™ covers less skin than other patches and has a very low incidence of skin irritation, which should enhance overall comfort. From a consumer standpoint, we believe that these traits make Vivelle-Dot™ the most appealing estrogen patch on the market."

The new patch utilizes Noven’s proprietary Dot Matrix™ adhesive technology and delivers 17ß-estradiol through the skin and into the bloodstream. 17ß-estradiol is identical to a woman’s own estrogen, unlike those estrogen therapies derived from equine sources. The technologies incorporated into the Vivelle-Dot™ patch are the subject of U.S. patents that do not begin to expire until the year 2012.

"Vivelle-Dot™ is one of two new leading-edge products developed and manufactured by Noven that we expect will make 1999 a strong, profitable year," said Robert C. Strauss, Noven’s President & Chief Executive Officer. "The other new product, CombiPatch™, marketed by Rhône-Poulenc Rorer, is the nation’s first and only combination estrogen/progestin transdermal patch. In less than one year, Noven and its partners have launched two significant advances in transdermal therapy, both of which have considerable commercial potential."

In related news, Noven announced that the Noven/Novartis joint venture, initially known as Vivelle Ventures LLC, will now do business and market its products under the name Novogyne Pharmaceuticals. "We determined that the launch of Vivelle-Dot™ was an appropriate time to execute our transition to a company name that is better aligned with the women’s health focus of the Noven/Novartis joint venture," added Neil Jones, who directs sales and marketing for Novogyne in addition to his duties at Noven. The Novogyne Pharmaceuticals sales force targets 30,000 physicians who frequently prescribe estrogen products. Along with Vivelle-Dot™, the sales force offers the original Vivelle product, and co-promotes Novartis’s Miacalcin® Nasal Spray for the treatment of osteoporosis.

In the U.S., more than 40 million women are in the menopausal age range (between 45 and 59), and every 16 seconds another woman enters her fifties. The U.S. market for hormone replacement therapies totaled approximately $1.8 billion in 1998, with sales of transdermal estrogen products comprising approximately $197 million of that amount.

Novogyne Pharmaceuticals has rights to Vivelle-Dot™ in North America pursuant to a license from Noven. Noven has retained exclusive marketing rights to Vivelle-Dot™ in all territories other than North America and Japan, and is presently pursuing European regulatory approvals and evaluating strategies to commercialize the new patch internationally. The Vivelle family of products is presently under study for the treatment of osteoporosis.

Noven Pharmaceuticals, Inc., headquartered in Miami Florida, is a leader in the development of transdermal and transmucosal drug delivery systems and technologies. Noven’s existing products include advanced estrogen transdermal delivery systems (Vivelle® and Vivelle-Dot™, licensed to Novogyne Pharmaceuticals, and Menorest®, licensed to Rhône-Poulenc Rorer); combination estrogen/progestin transdermal delivery systems (CombiPatch™ and Estalis®, licensed to Rhône-Poulenc Rorer); and the first transmucosal patch approved by the FDA (DentiPatch®, developed, marketed and sold by Noven). With a range of additional products in development, Noven is committed to becoming the world’s premier developer, manufacturer and marketer of transdermal and transmucosal drug delivery systems.

Forward looking statements contained in this release are qualified by and subject to the risks and uncertainties specified by Noven in its most recent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the risk that Vivelle-Dot™ and CombiPatch™ sales may be less than expected, and that other unanticipated events may adversely affect Noven’s financial results. Specifically, Noven’s products compete with the products of companies that have significantly greater financial and other resources.

Investor Contact:
James B. Messiry
Chief Financial Officer
Noven Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Trade Media Contact:
Angela D'Costa
The Nixon Group