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Details on surprise Novartis heart drug success due Aug 27

LONDON, June 29 (Reuters) - Full details on the surprise success of a Novartis anti-inflammatory drug in cutting cardiovascular risk for heart attack survivors will be presented at a medical meeting on Aug. 27, conference organisers said on Thursday.

The so-called CANTOS study will be one of the highlights of the annual meeting of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), the region's largest professional gathering of heart specialists.

Novartis said last week that canakinumab had been found to reduce further heart attacks or strokes in a large study, confounding expectations among analysts who had not expected it to work, given past setbacks with anti-inflammatory approaches.

Doctors and analysts, however, still need to see the scale of the benefit and the nature of any side effects to assess its potential.

The Swiss drugmaker said earlier it had been hoping to present at the ESC but that it might have to wait until a later meeting.

The ESC meeting will also feature results on Aug. 29 from a study involving Merck's heart drug anacetrapib, as previously announced by the U.S. company. (Reporting by Ben Hirschler; editing by Jason Neely)