Fish oil beats Crestor for heart failure

The biggest news out of the European Society of Cardiology meeting may be the formal presentation of the SEAS study, which rocked the market when Schering-Plough released preliminary data on an increase in cancer deaths among Vytorin patients--an increase experts have debated ever since. But there's plenty of other significant developments, too. Here's a roundup:

  • A prescription fish oil pill--sold by GlaxoSmithKline in the U.S. as Lovaza and in Europe as Omacor--benefited heart-failure patients, cutting their risk of death and their hospital admissions, a 7,000-patient trial found.
  • In the same trial, 4,600 heart-failure patients assigned to take a low dose of AstraZeneca's Crestor didn't get any benefits compared with placebo.
  • Using Merck's antiplatelet drug Aggrastat in patients with a certain type of heart attack--in addition to the standard combo of aspirin, heparin, and clopidogrel--improves results of angioplasty procedures.
  • Eli Lilly and Daiichi Sankyo's new blood thinner prasugrel appears to work better in diabetic patients than the common anti-clotting med Plavix does, according to new analysis of the Triton clinical trial. As you know, however, prasugrel's FDA approval has been delayed on findings of serious bleeding.
  • A Boston Scientific-sponsored study found that bypass surgery works better in the long run than stents did, proving to end in fewer deaths within one year of the surgery and preventing repeat procedures. But the surgery patients had a 2 percent risk of stroke, versus zero in the angioplasty patients.

There's sure to be more heart-related pharma news as the week rolls on; the meeting continues through tomorrow.

- see the fish oil news at CNN Money
- get more from the Guardian
- see info on Crestor and prasugrel at Pharmalot
- check out the Aggrastat data
- read the stent story from the Associated Press