Crestor aces huge study, says AZ

Some cholesterol med-makers do have reason to rejoice today. AstraZeneca stopped a study of its blockbuster Crestor, saying the pill had already demonstrated clear benefits over placebo. The 15,000-strong study aimed to determine whether Crestor cut the risk of major cardiovascular events in patients without symptoms and with low cholesterol, but with high levels of C-reactive protein, which has been linked to cardiovascular disease.

Analysts said the trial news would give Crestor an edge over its rival--yes, you guessed it--Vytorin. Launched in the U.S. in 2003, Crestor initially lagged, but a 2006 study showing it could hold back the progression of atherosclerosis, and even help shrink arterial plaque, helped it gain market share.

- see AstraZeneca's press release
- read the story in the Wall Street Journal

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