Heart pill approval a much-needed win for AZ

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AstraZeneca said it won approval today for Epanova, a treatment for patients with severe hypertriglyceridemia.

It's the first prescription omega-3 with a two-capsule, once-a-day dosing option, AZ said, something that could give it an edge among fish oil-based cardiovascular pills like GSK's Lovaza and Amarin's Vascepa, as patients with severely high trigs often have other conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure that require them to take multiple meds.

AZ acquired the omega-3 drug when it bought Omthera Pharmaceuticals last year for up to $443 million. According to Thomson Reuters Pharma, which polled industry analysts, the drug could reach sales of $322 million by 2018.

It came as a small but symbolic win as the British firm fends off a $106-billion takeover attempt from Pfizer.

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