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February 24, 2009

AstraZeneca announces Extended Release version of Seroquel for Bipolar Depression

AstraZeneca today launched its once-daily SEROQUEL XR (quetiapine fumarate) Extended-Release Tablets for the acute treatment of the depressive episodes associated with bipolar disorder and the manic and mixed episodes associated with bipolar I disorder, as well as the maintenance treatment of bipolar I disorder as adjunctive therapy to lithium or divalproex. SEROQUEL XR is also now available in two new tablet strengths, 50-mg and 150-mg.

Once-daily SEROQUEL XR is the only medication FDA-approved for the treatment of acute depressive, manic, and mixed episodes of bipolar disorder.

"Bipolar depression is a serious and debilitating illness with few approved treatment options," said Dr. Trisha Suppes, Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Medical Center and VA Palo Alto Health Care System. "People with bipolar disorder are known to struggle more frequently with the depressive rather than the manic symptoms. SEROQUEL XR has been shown to be effective as a monotherapy in treating bipolar depressive symptoms, such as sadness, loss of interest, and feelings of worthlessness."

"When symptomatic, people with bipolar disorder experience depressive symptoms more than three times longer than manic symptoms, and this may interfere with daily activities," said Dr. Arthur Lazarus, Senior Director, Clinical Development for AstraZeneca. "The approval of SEROQUEL XR for the treatment of bipolar disorder provides patients with the only medication that has been proven to treat the acute depressive, manic, and mixed episodes of bipolar disorder."

Today's announcement follows the October 2008 FDA approval of SEROQUEL XR for these indications in bipolar disorder.

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