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First Study To Show Positive Benefit On Atherosclerosis For People,With Early Signs Of Diseased Arteries

METEOR Trial Shows CRESTOR Slowed Progression Of Atherosclerosis In People At Low-Risk* Of Coronary Heart Disease

LONDON, March 26, 2006-AstraZeneca today announced that the METEOR clinical trial of CRESTOR is the first study to show a positive effect on atherosclerosis in people with early signs of carotid artery disease and at low risk of coronary heart disease (CHD).
The study, using CRESTORTM (rosuvastatin) 40mg and presented at 56th Scientific Sessions of the American College of Cardiology, resulted in subjects showing a significantly slower rate of progression of atherosclerosis when compared to placebo. When assessed vs. baseline, no significant progression was observed in the 40 mg rosuvastatin arm over the two-year duration of the study, while significant progression vs. baseline was observed in the placebo arm.

The data demonstrated that the CRESTOR 40mg patients, with moderately increased LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol levels (mean 154 mg/dL) and no established atherosclerosis, experienced a 0.0014 mm/yr decrease in the mean maximum carotid intima-media thickness – a marker of atherosclerotic burden,compared to a progression of 0.0131 mm/yr for those on placebo (p<0.0001). CRESTOR 40 mg was well tolerated during the two years of the study.

With completion of this study, CRESTOR has now been studied across the atherosclerosis disease spectrum, first with ASTEROID, which included patients with established coronary artery disease and at a high risk of CHD events, and now with METEOR, which evaluated CRESTOR in asymptomatic subjects with early disease and at low CHD risk.

“It’s exciting to see that by using rosuvastatin we can potentially slow or even stop the disease progression in people with relatively modest atherosclerosis,” said lead investigator John R. Crouse, III, M.D., Professor of Medicine and Public Health Sciences and Associate
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