More good Crestor news on the horizon?

Yesterday, we told you about Crestor's strong 3Q performance in service to AstraZeneca's bottom line. Well, the cholesterol med may soon be even more serviceable. A forthcoming study--known as Jupiter--could transform Crestor into a full-on preventative, prescribed not only to those with major cholesterol problems, but to basically healthy patients, too.

According to the Wall Street Journal Health Blog, Jupiter enrolled 15,000 basically healthy folks with "modest amounts" of bad cholesterol, but high levels of an inflammatory marker. The researchers wanted to see whether Crestor lowered the risk of major cardiovascular events like heart attack and stroke. In March, they stopped the study because of "unequivocal" benefits for patients using the drug.

The full study is likely to be unveiled at the American Heart Association's annual meeting next month. If the stats are as strong as the researchers hinted, Crestor's market could mushroom overnight. "It's potentially a game-changer," Steve Nissen, a high-profile pharma skeptic, told Forbes. "There could be a much larger population of patients that may benefit than are currently treated."

- read the Health Blog post
- see the story in Forbes