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Crestor Cuts Risk of Stroke by Nearly Half in JUPITER Study

SAN DIEGO, February 19, 2009 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- A new analysis from the JUPITER study presented today at the International Stroke Conference (ISC) in San Diego, California describes details of the stroke data according to gender, ethnicity and baseline risk factors. This data adds to the primary analysis of the JUPITER study which demonstrated that CRESTOR(R) (rosuvastatin calcium) 20mg significantly reduced the risk of stroke by nearly half (48%; p=0.002), compared to placebo among men and women with elevated high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) but low to normal cholesterol levels.

"Each year in the U.S. about 795,000 people experience a new or recurrent stroke and about 610,000 of these are first attacks," said Alex Gold, MD, Executive Director, Clinical Development, CRESTOR U.S. "This analysis of the JUPITER data evaluated rosuvastatin 20 mg across a number of sub groups with notable benefits in higher risk patients, including those older than 70 years, cigarette smokers, hypertensives, those with an elevated Framingham risk score, and those with a high-sensitivity C-reactive protein level at or above 5 mg/L at baseline."

There was no increase in the risk of hemorrhagic stroke (p=0.44 vs. placebo) in patients treated with rosuvastatin. Rosuvastatin 20mg was well tolerated in nearly 9,000 patients during the course of the JUPITER study.

Initial results from JUPITER, originally presented in November 2008 at the American Heart Association's Annual Scientific Sessions, and published by the New England Journal of Medicine, showed rosuvastatin 20mg significantly reduced major cardiovascular (CV) events (combined risk of myocardial infarction, stroke, arterial revascularization, hospitalization for unstable angina, or death from CV causes) by 44%, compared to placebo (p<0.00001). These results also showed that for patients in the trial taking rosuvastatin 20mg combined risk of heart attack, stroke or CV death was reduced by nearly half (47%, p<0.00001).

AstraZeneca expects to file a regulatory submission including the JUPITER data in the first half of 2009 and if approved, will begin promotional activities within the approved labeling.

JUPITER (Justification for the Use of statins in Primary prevention: an Intervention Trial Evaluating Rosuvastatin) was a long-term, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, large-scale study of 17,802 patients designed to determine if rosuvastatin 20 mg decreases the risk of heart attack, stroke and other major cardiovascular events in patients with low to normal LDL-C but at increased cardiovascular risk as identified by elevated high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) and age. The majority of patients had at least one other risk factor including hypertension, low HDL-C, family history of premature coronary heart disease (CHD) or smoking. hsCRP is a recognized marker of inflammation which is associated with an increased risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular events.

JUPITER is a part of AstraZeneca's extensive GALAXY clinical trials program, designed to address important unanswered questions in statin research. Currently, more than 69,000 patients have been recruited from 55 countries worldwide to participate in the GALAXY Program.

Studies have previously shown that CRESTOR significantly lowered LDL-C, had a significant effect on raising HDL-C and slowed the progression of atherosclerosis, an underlying cause of cardiovascular disease.

CRESTOR has now received regulatory approval in over 95 countries. Nearly 15 million patients have been prescribed CRESTOR worldwide. Data from clinical trials and real world use shows that the safety profile for CRESTOR is in line with other marketed statins.

CRESTOR is indicated as an adjunct to diet to reduce elevated Total-C, LDL-C, ApoB, non-HDL-C, and TG levels and to increase HDL-C in patients with primary hyperlipidemia and mixed dyslipidemia. CRESTOR is also indicated as an adjunct to diet to slow the progression of atherosclerosis in adult patients as part of a treatment strategy to lower Total-C and LDL-C to target levels. CRESTOR is not approved to prevent cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.

CRESTOR is contraindicated in patients with a known hypersensitivity to any component of this product, in patients with active liver disease, which may include unexplained persistent elevations of hepatic transaminase levels, in women who are pregnant or may become pregnant, and in nursing mothers.

Cases of myopathy and rhabdomyolysis with acute renal failure secondary to myoglobinuria have been reported with HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, including CRESTOR. These risks can occur at any dose level, but are increased at the highest dose (40 mg).

CRESTOR should be prescribed with caution in patients with predisposing factors for myopathy (eg, age greater than or equal to 65 years, inadequately treated hypothyroidism, renal impairment). The risk of myopathy during treatment with CRESTOR may be increased with concurrent administration of some other lipid-lowering therapies (fibrates or niacin), gemfibrozil, cyclosporine, or lopinavir/ritonavir.

Therapy with CRESTOR should be discontinued if markedly elevated CK levels occur or myopathy is diagnosed or suspected. All patients should be advised to promptly report unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness, particularly if accompanied by malaise or fever. It is recommended that liver enzyme tests be performed before and at 12 weeks following both the initiation of therapy and any elevation of dose, and periodically (e.g., semiannually) thereafter. Should an increase in ALT or AST of >3 times ULN persist, reduction of dose or withdrawal of CRESTOR is recommended. CRESTOR should be used with caution in patients who consume substantial quantities of alcohol.

CRESTOR 40 mg should be used only for those patients not achieving their LDL-C goal with 20 mg. Patients initiating CRESTOR therapy or switching from another statin should begin treatment with CRESTOR at the appropriate starting dose.

In the controlled clinical trials database, the most common adverse reactions were headache (3.7%), myalgia (3.1%), abdominal pain (2.6%), asthenia (2.5%), and nausea (2.2%).

Please see accompanying full Prescribing Information. If you have any questions concerning CRESTOR, please contact AstraZeneca at 1-800-237-8898. CRESTOR is a registered trademark of the AstraZeneca group of companies.

AstraZeneca is engaged in the research, development, manufacturing and marketing of meaningful prescription medicines and in the supply of healthcare services. AstraZeneca is one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies with global healthcare sales of $ 31.6 billion and is a leader in gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, neuroscience, respiratory, oncology and infectious disease medicines. In the United States, AstraZeneca is a $13.5 billion dollar healthcare business.

For more information about AstraZeneca in the US or our AZ&Me(TM) Prescription Savings programs, please visit: www.astrazeneca-us.com

CONTACT: Media Inquiries: Donna Huang, +1-302-885-6396, or Julia Walker,+1-302-885-5172; Investor Inquiries US: Ed Seage, +1-302-886-4065, cell+1-302-373-1361, or Jorgen Winroth, +1-212-579-0506, cell +1-917-612-4043,all of AstraZeneca

Web site: http://www.astrazeneca-us.com/

Ticker Symbol: (NYSE:AZN)

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Posted: February 2009

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