PRINCETON, N.J., Aug. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Sandoz introduced metoprolol succinate 50 mg extended release tablets, a generic equivalent of Toprol XL(R), in the U.S. today. Metoprolol succinate 50 mg ER is a beta-blocker used to treat angina, heart failure, and high blood pressure. "We are pleased to be first to the market with a 50 milligram extended release generic version of this drug," said Bernhard Hampl, chief executive officer of Sandoz Inc. "It is a strong complement to our existing product line, which includes metoprolol succinate 25 milligram ER tablets." According to IMS Health data, the 50 mg tablet of Toprol XL, with sales of $643 million in the U.S. for the 12 months ending April 2007, is the most widely dispensed strength of the drug. About Sandoz Sandoz, a division of the Novartis group, is a global leader in the field of generic pharmaceuticals, offering a wide array of high-quality, affordable products that are no longer protected by patents. Sandoz has a portfolio of more than 840 compounds in over 5,000 forms worldwide and sells its products in more than 110 countries. Key product groups include antibiotics, treatments for central nervous system disorders, gastrointestinal medicines, cardiovascular treatments and hormone therapies. Sandoz develops, produces and markets these drugs along with pharmaceutical and biotechnological active substances and anti-infectives. In addition to the strong organic growth in recent years, Sandoz has made a series of acquisitions including Lek (Slovenia), Sabex (Canada), Hexal (Germany) and Eon Labs (U.S.). In 2006, Sandoz employed approximately 21,000 people worldwide and posted sales of USD 6 billion. Disclaimer The foregoing release may contain forward-looking statements regarding potential additional marketing approvals or future sales of metoprolol succinate. Any such forward looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results with metoprolol succinate to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such statements. There can be no guarantee that metoprolol succinate will receive any additional marketing approvals in any other countries, or that it will reach any particular sales levels. Management's expectations regarding metoprolol succinate could be affected by various risks and factors referred to in the company's current Form 20-F on file with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those anticipated, believed, estimated or expected. Sandoz is providing this information as of this date and does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this document as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Toprol XL(R) is a registered trademark of AstraZeneca PLC.