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-AstraZeneca's Crestor shows weaker results in study than rival.

NORDIC BUSINESS REPORT-September 2, 2011--AstraZeneca's Crestor shows weaker results in study than rival(C)2011 M2 COMMUNICATIONS

2 September 2011 - Anglo-Swedish pharma major AstraZeneca plc (LON:AZN, STO:AZN) said today its cholesterol-lowering drug Crestor did not meet the primary endpoint in the Saturn clinical trial comparing it to rival Lipitor by US Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE).

According to the top-line results published on Friday, imaging tests showed that patients receiving Crestor (rosuvastatin) 40 mg had a lower percentage of artery-clogging plaque than those treated with Lipitor (atorvastatin) 80 mg, but the difference was not statistically significant.

However, AstraZeneca's drug demonstrated a statistically significant reduction compared with Lipitor in a secondary endpoint.

The Phase IIIb study Saturn is a 104-week, randomised, double-blind trial, which included some 1,300 patients with coronary artery disease. More detailed data and analyses of the results are due to be presented on 15 November at the Scientific Sessions of the American Heart Association (AHA).

The results from the Saturn trial were considered important as Crestor is AstraZeneca's best-selling drug and evidence that it was clearly better than Lipitor would have helped cement the current strong position. However, the prospects for Crestor are now more uncertain as the patent for Pfizer's drug is about to expire in November and this will open the doors for cheap generic competitors.

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Publication:Nordic Business Report
Date:Sep 2, 2011
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