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Prexige Study Shows Significantly Less Impact on Blood Pressure,Than Ibuprofen in Osteoarthritis Patients with Controlled,Hypertension

* New data from 741-patient trial show those treated with Prexige experienced significantly smaller impact on blood pressure compared to ibuprofen[1]

* Many patients with osteoarthritis also have high blood pressure; even small changes in blood pressure can impact cardiovascular risk[2],[3]

* Prexige approved in more than 50 countries and currently under review in US for use in osteoarthritis patients

BASEL, Switzerland, June 15, 2007 - Patients with osteoarthritis who also have controlled hypertension experienced a slight decrease in average daily blood pressure when treated with the selective COX-2 inhibitor Prexige® (lumiracoxib) compared to a slight increase in those taking ibuprofen, a commonly-used non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)[1].

These new results, presented today at the Annual European Congress of Rheumatology (EULAR) in Barcelona, are important because around 40% of patients with osteoarthritis also have high blood pressure (or hypertension)[4],[5].

Independent research shows that even small elevations in blood pressure can contribute to an increased risk of cardiovascular events[2],[3],[6],[7],[8]. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis affecting 139 million people worldwide[9].

"NSAIDs, including some COX-2s, have been associated with raised blood pressure, and this effect may be in part responsible for the increased risk of cardiovascular disease associated with this class of medications," said Tom MacDonald, Ph.D., Professor of Clinical Pharmacology at the Hypertension Research Centre at Ninewells Hospital & Medical School in Dundee, Scotland. "These data indicate that lumiracoxib may have less impact on blood pressure than the most commonly used NSAID ibuprofen."

Prexige, which is given to patients as a 100 mg once-daily tablet, is approved for use in certain types of patients with osteoarthritic pain of the knee
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