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AZ's Crestor shown to cut heart attack risk

A study of around 18,000 patients with normal cholesterol levels has shown that AstraZeneca's statin Crestor significantly lowered the risk of cardiovascular events

A study of around 18,000 patients with normal cholesterol levels has shown that AstraZeneca's (AZ) statin Crestor significantly lowered the risk of cardiovascular events.

The trial, known as Jupiter, was a long-term, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, large-scale study designed to test if Crestor decreased the risk of heart attack, stroke of other major cardiovascular events in patients with low to normal cholesterol levels but elevated hsCRP – a protein that causes inflammation of the arteries.

Patients were given 20mg of the drug per day for an average of two years. The risk of heart attack was cut by 54 per cent and the risk of stroke by 48 per cent. Total mortality was reduced by 20 per cent.

The trial showed a slight increase in physician-reported diabetes, although this was consistent with data from similar large placebo-controlled statin trials.

AstraZeneca plans to file a regulatory submission including the Jupiter data in the first half of 2009. If approved, it will begin promotional activities within the approved labelling.

In Q3 2008, the company reported sales of Crestor at $922m. This represented an increase of 23 per cent in the US and 33 per cent in the Rest of World compared with the same period last year.

Crestor has received regulatory approval in 95 countries and nearly 15 million patients have been prescribed the drug worldwide.

10th November 2008

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