Novartis Acquires Marketing Rights To Estalis® And Menorest® Transdermal Systems

Transdermal Leader to Sell Noven's Advanced Patches

Noven to Receive $2.7 Million in 1999 Fourth Quarter

-- Noven Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: NOVN) today announced that Novartis Pharma AG ("Novartis") has sublicensed from Rhône-Poulenc Rorer Inc. (RPR), the rights to market Noven's Estalis® (estradiol/norethindrone acetate transdermal system) and Menorest® (transdermal 17-beta-estradiol) transdermal patches in most markets outside of the U.S. The parties have not disclosed the amount paid by Novartis to RPR in connection with the sublicenses. Noven will receive $2.7 million from RPR as its share of the sublicense fees and will recognize that amount as revenue in the quarter ending December 31, 1999. Terms of the Estalis® and Menorest® licenses relating to the determination of royalty and other continuing payments to Noven were not changed.

Novartis sublicensed RPR's rights to market Noven's combination estrogen/progestin transdermal system under the name Estalis® in all countries other than the U.S. and Japan. Estalis® is approved in 15 countries for the prevention of menopausal symptoms in women with an intact uterus and for the prevention of postmenopausal osteoporosis. RPR has launched Estalis® only in Sweden. In the U.S., RPR markets the same product under the name CombiPatch®, (estradiol/norethindrone acetate transdermal system), where it stands as the only combination transdermal system available in the nearly $500 million market for fixed combination hormone replacement therapy products. CombiPatch® prescriptions have increased every month since its launch in September 1998.

Novartis also sublicensed RPR's rights to market Noven's first generation estrogen transdermal system under the name Menorest® in all areas other than the U.S., Canada and Japan. Menorest® is approved for marketing in 44 countries for the treatment of menopausal symptoms and in 40 countries for the prevention of postmenopausal osteoporosis. It is marketed abroad in more than 20 countries, including France, Germany and the United Kingdom. In the U.S., the same product is marketed under the name Vivelle® by Novogyne Pharmaceuticals, a women's health company jointly owned by Noven and Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation. Novogyne also markets Vivelle-Dot™, Noven's second generation estrogen patch, which is one-third the size of the U.S. market leader.

"We welcome this expansion of our relationship with Novartis, one of the world's leading marketers of transdermal therapy products," said Robert C. Strauss, Noven's President and Chief Executive Officer. "We believe that Novartis' investment in Estalis® and Menorest® evidences its commitment and high expectations for these products outside the U.S. In particular, the launch of Estalis® in countries where it is approved but not yet marketed should help drive Noven's growth and bring an increasingly significant international component to our revenue base."

There are an estimated 53 million women in the menopausal age range (45 through 64) in Europe and over 30 million in the United States. In 1998, the market for hormone replacement therapies was approximately $750 million in Europe and $1.8 billion in the U.S.

A telephone conference among Noven's management and equity analysts relating to today's announcement will be broadcast live via the Internet at www.noven.com beginning at 10:00 a.m. Eastern time on October 5, 1999. Thereafter, a rebroadcast of the call will be accessible at the same site. In addition, a taped replay of the conference call will be available by telephone from October 5 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern time to October 7 at 11:59 p.m. by calling 800-475-6701 (from within the U.S.) or 320-365-3844 (from outside the U.S.) and entering the access code 475587.

Noven Pharmaceuticals, Inc., headquartered in Miami, Florida, is a leader in the development of transdermal and transmucosal drug delivery products and technologies. Noven's existing products include advanced estrogen transdermal delivery systems (including Vivelle-Dot™, the world's smallest estrogen patch, licensed to Novogyne), combination estrogen/progestin transdermal delivery systems (including CombiPatch®, licensed to Rhône-Poulenc Rorer); and the first transmucosal patch approved by the FDA (DentiPatch®). With a range of additional products in development, including a breakthrough transdermal methylphenidate patch for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Noven is committed to becoming the world's premier developer, manufacturer and marketer of transdermal and transmucosal drug delivery systems.

For additional information on Noven, visit the company's Web site at www.noven.com.

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 Novartis' orders or sales of Noven's products may be less than expected and may negatively impact future results.

About Noven
Noven Pharmaceuticals, Inc., headquartered in Miami, Florida, is a leader in the development of transdermal and transmucosal drug delivery technologies. Together with Novartis Pharmaceuticals, Noven owns a women's health products company called Novogyne Pharmaceuticals. Noven's existing products include advanced estrogen transdermal delivery systems (including Vivelle-Dot™, licensed to Novogyne); combination estrogen/progestin transdermal delivery systems (including CombiPatch™, licensed to Aventis S.A., and Estalis®, licensed to Novartis Pharma AG); and the first transmucosal patch delivery system approved by the FDA (DentiPatch®). With a range of additional products in development, including MethyPatch™, Noven is committed to becoming the world's premier developer, manufacturer and marketer of transdermal and transmucosal drug delivery systems.

For additional information on Noven, visit the company's web site at www.noven.com. For information on Noven's Vivelle® and Vivelle-Dot™ products, visit www.vivelledot.com.

Ritalin® is a registered trademark of Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation.

Forward looking statements contained in this release are qualified by and subject to the risks and uncertainties specified below and those specified by Noven in its most recent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the risks that Noven's NDA filing may be delayed, that Noven may not receive FDA approval to market MethyPatch™, that Noven may not successfully commercialize MethyPatch™, that MethyPatch™ may not compete effectively against extended release oral formulations of methylphenidate and/or other AD/HD medications, including those that may reach the U.S. market prior to MethyPatch™, and that Noven's patents may not provide meaningful protection against other patch products that may be developed by competitors.

Contact:
James B. Messiry
Chief Financial Officer
305-253-1916