Abbott, AZ team up on Crestor

The battle of the cholesterol meds could heat up even further now that two Big Pharma companies have forged an alliance. AstraZeneca and Abbott Laboratories are joining forces to market Crestor, AstraZeneca's statin med. With Lipitor scheduled to go generic in a couple of years--and Pfizer pulling out all the stops to capture as much of that brand-name revenue it can in the meantime--competitors are having to fight for their own share of the market.

And with the continued weakness in sales of Vytorin, the Zocor-and-Zetia combo that's seen so much negative publicity this year, now is prime time for another drug to come to the fore. In fact, when the American College of Cardiology advised that docs use other cholesterol meds before resorting to Vytorin, analysts pegged Crestor as one drug that could benefit from the change.

This isn't the first time Abbott and AZ have worked together on a cholesterol drug, or even on Crestor. The two companies have been working on a product that would combine Abbott's TriLipix with Crestor into one combo pill, aiming to file for FDA approval in 2009.

- read the companies' news release