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Crestor fails to outshine Lipitor

AstraZeneca's cholesterol drug Crestor has failed to show an advantage over its rival Lipitor in study data released by the pharmaceutical company

AstraZeneca's (AZ) cholesterol drug Crestor (rosuvastatin) has failed to show an advantage over its rival Lipitor (atorvastatin) in top-line study data released by the pharmaceutical company.

Results for the study's primary measure of efficacy, involving the amount of fat in a patient's arteries, demonstrated no statistically significant difference between the two treatments.

These results have the potential to damage Crestor's sales once Lipitor loses its patent protection later this year and is opened to generic completion, with healthcare providers more likely to opt for the cheaper option of two similar performing treatments.

The trial involved around 1,300 patients with coronary artery disease over a 104-week period.

Despite the failure of the primary endpoint to indicate success for Crestor, a secondary endpoint that involved an alternative process to the way fat was measured in the artery, did demonstrate a statistically significant reduction in fat build-up compared with Lipitor.

Further data and analyses will be presented by the study's academic investigators at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions (AHA) on November 15.

5th September 2011

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