November 15, 2009

AstraZeneca Drug More Effective Than Plavix

An experimental anticlotting drug under development by AstraZeneca has been found to be more effective in treating patients who underwent emergency procedures.

A study revealed Sunday that AstraZeneca's Brilinta, or ticagrelor, is used in patients to keep blood platelets from sticking together before and after surgery.

AstraZeneca intends to file an application for approval from the Food and Drug Administration by the end of the year. The FDA typically takes at least 10 months to approve a drug.

In a study of more than 18,000 patients, called the PLATO study, earlier this year, Brilinta was shown to be superior to Plavix, developed by Bristol-Myers Squibb and Sanofi-Aventis.

The recent study focused on the 8,430 patients in the worst condition in the PLATO study.

"The results are very clear and actually very consistent with the overall trial results of the larger PLATO trial," preventing cardiovascular events while not increasing the major bleeding risk, said Dr. Philippe Gabriel Steg, lead investigator of the study.

About half of patients involved with the study were given a loading dose of ticagrelor and the other half a loading dose of Plavix before the procedure.

The study results were presented Sunday at the American Heart Association scientific meeting in Orlando.

Steg also noted that Brilinta works in less time than Plavix, which could be useful for patients in need of emergency procedures.

The study was funded by AstraZeneca.


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