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New Pill to Lower Triglycerides

May 14th 2014 at 2:41 AM

AstraZeneca Plc has won U.S. approval for Epanova, a new pill for heart disease. The new pill is designed for treating people with very high levels of fatty triglycerides in their blood and was originally developed by Omthera Pharmaceuticals, which AstraZeneca acquired last year. Epanova is an ultra-pure mixture of the free fatty acid forms of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), derived from fish oil.

The new drug will compete with other fish oil-based medicines such as GlaxoSmithKline Plc's Lovaza, which now faces cut-price generic competition, and Amarin Corp Plc's Vascepa. AstraZeneca also hopes to develop a fixed-dose combination of its cholesterol-lowering drug Crestor and Epanova.

The new combination, if successful, would help extend the Crestor franchise beyond 2016, when the drug's U.S. patent ends.

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