First statin monotherapy to achieve regression of coronary atherosclerosis by angiography in a major clinical study

    ASTEROID QCA studied the effect of intensive CRESTOR(R) therapy on

    CHICAGO, March 31 /CNW/ - CRESTOR(R) (rosuvastatin) is the only statin to
show regression of coronary atherosclerosis in a major clinical study.(1) That
result, which was based on intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) data from the
ASTEROID study, has now been expanded upon by quantitative coronary
angiography (QCA) measurements obtained during that study. This is the first
time that QCA was used to demonstrate regression of atherosclerosis as a
result of statin monotherapy. These new data were presented today at the 57th
Annual Scientific Session of the American College of Cardiology and showed
that rosuvastatin treatment for 24 months reduced LDL-C levels well below
traditional goals (1.57 mmol/L), together with significant increases in HDL-C,
produced regression by decreasing percent diameter stenosis and improving
minimum lumen diameter as measured by QCA in coronary disease patients.
    "The QCA analysis of the ASTEROID study offers us additional, consistent
insights into the treatment of patients with coronary artery disease," said
Dr. Jean-Claude Tardif, Director of the Montreal Heart Institute Research
Centre, and member of the ASTEROID steering committee. "Both QCA and IVUS
techniques confirm that the use of rosuvastatin 40 mg can help achieve
regression of coronary atherosclerosis, the underlying cause of heart
    ASTEROID (A Study To Evaluate the Effect of Rosuvastatin On Intravascular
Ultrasound-Derived Coronary Atheroma Burden) was designed to study the effect
of rosuvastatin 40 mg in 507 patients who had undergone coronary angiography
and who had evidence of coronary artery disease (CAD). The QCA analysis was a
secondary endpoint in the ASTEROID study. Angiograms taken at baseline and at
the end of the 2 year study were analysed for changes in the percent diameter
stenosis (%DS) and the minimum lumen diameter (MLD) using QCA imaging.
    Key findings of this analysis of the 292 patients with matched stenoses
(greater than)25% of the lumen diameter at baseline, after taking rosuvastatin
40 mg for 2 years include:

    -   53.3% reduction in LDL-C (from 3.37 mmol/L to a mean of 1.57 mmol/L)
    -   13.8% increase in HDL-C (from 1.1 mmol/L to 1.24 mmol/L)
    -   Regression of atherosclerosis occurred in the majority of patients
    -   Over 90% of patients remained clinically stable or had regression
        (either %DS or MLD)
    -   Significant decrease in percent diameter stenosis (from median 35.7%
        at baseline to 34.5% at 2 years; mean decrease 1.3%, median decrease
        0.5%; p(less than)0.001). Significant increase in minimum lumen
        diameter (from median 1.62 mm at baseline to 1.67 mm at 2 years; mean
        increase 0.03 mm, median increase 0.02 mm; p(less than)0.001)
    -   Rosuvastatin 40 mg was well tolerated in this two-year study

    Atherosclerosis is an underlying cause of heart disease and involves the
progressive build-up of plaque - the fatty deposits and other cells - in the
inner walls of the arteries. The condition is a consequence of elevated
cholesterol and for many it's a silent disease, with no visible signs or
symptoms.(2) The disease can begin in early adulthood and continues to
progress for the rest of a person's life. Despite the serious nature of
atherosclerosis, much is not understood about how it develops and progresses.
Several coronary angiography studies have indicated that slowing the
progression of atherosclerosis is associated with a decreased risk of CV
    "We are proud of the research we have been able to conduct as part of our
GALAXY program," said Andrew Vieira, MD, Scientific Director Cardiovascular at
AstraZeneca Canada. "Studies such as METEOR and ASTEROID not only clearly
differentiate rosuvastatin from other treatment options but also reinforce to
physicians and their patients the importance of targeting LDL and HDL levels
and attacking the build-up of arterial plaque in the fight against coronary
artery disease."
    In the U.S., based on the METEOR study, rosuvastatin has received an
indication as an adjunct to diet to slow the progression of atherosclerosis in
patients with elevated cholesterol. The rosuvastatin Prescribing Information
in Europe has been updated to incorporate data from the METEOR study, in which
rosuvastatin demonstrated a positive effect on atherosclerosis in people at
low risk of coronary heart disease and with early signs of carotid artery
disease as measured by B-mode ultrasound. In Canada, rosuvastatin is not
indicated for the regression of coronary atherosclerosis.
    ASTEROID is a part of AstraZeneca's extensive GALAXY clinical trials
program, designed to address important unanswered questions in statin
research. Currently, more than 64,000 patients have been recruited from 55
countries worldwide to participate in the GALAXY Programme.
    CRESTOR has now received regulatory approvals in over 90 countries. Over
12 million patients have been prescribed rosuvastatin worldwide. Data from
clinical trials(4) and real world(5,6) use show that the safety profile for
rosuvastatin is in line with other marketed statins.
    The 40 mg dose is the highest registered dose of rosuvastatin.
Rosuvastatin should be used according to the prescribing information, which
contains recommendations for initiating and titrating therapy according to the
individual patient profile. In Canada, the recommended starting dose of
CRESTOR in most patients is 10 mg orally once daily. The 40 mg dose should
only be used in patients who have not achieved their LDL-C goal utilizing the
20 mg dose of rosuvastatin.

    About AstraZeneca Canada

    AstraZeneca is a leading global pharmaceutical company with an extensive
product portfolio spanning six major therapeutic areas: gastrointestinal,
cardiovascular, infection, neuroscience, oncology, and respiratory.
AstraZeneca's Canadian headquarters and packaging facilities are located in
Mississauga, Ontario, with a state-of-the-art drug discovery centre based in
Montreal, Quebec. For more information, visit the company's website at

    (1) Nissen SE, Nicholls SJ, Sipahi I, Libby P, Raichlen JS, Ballantyne
    CM, Erbel R, Tardif JC, et al. Effect of very high-intensity statin
    therapy on regression of coronary atherosclerosis: the ASTEROID trial.
    JAMA 2006 295:1556-65
    (2) Heart and Stroke Living with Cholesterol: Cholesterol and healthy
    (3) Rossouw, J Lipid-Lowering Interventions in Angiographic Trials. Am J
    Cardiol. 1995 76:86C-92C
    (4) Shepherd J, Hunninghake DB, Stein EA et al. Safety of rosuvastatin.
    Am J Cardiol. 2004 94:882-8
    (5) McAfee AT, Ming EE, Seeger JD et al. The comparative safety of
    rosuvastatin: a retrospective matched cohort study in over 48,000
    initiators of statin therapy. Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2006 15:444-53
    (6) Goettsch WG, Heintjes EM, Kastelein JJ et al. Results from a
    rosuvastatin historical cohort study in more than 45,000 Dutch statin
    users, a PHARMO study. Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2006 15:435-43.

For further information:

For further information: Marlo Taylor, Fleishman-Hillard Canada Inc.,
(416) 645-3652,

Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890