November 22, 2005

Drugs equivalent in angina treatment: study

CHICAGO (Reuters) - The blood-thinning drug Lovenox works
as well as a standard artery-clearing drug in patients with
severe heart-related chest pain, but neither reduced the risk
of death after a year of treatment, a study said on Tuesday.

The research, paid for by Aventis Pharmaceuticals, a member
of the Sanofi-Aventis Group which makes Lovenox, involved
nearly 10,000 patients at 487 hospitals in 12 countries who
suffered from acute coronary syndromes -- severe angina that
cannot be treated with surgery or angioplasty.

They had undergone revascularization, a treatment in which
small holes are laser-drilled in the heart tissue to improve
blood flow.

In the study, which covered a year, the patients were
treated with either enoxaparin, the generic name for Lovenox,
or a form of heparin, the standard medicine used in many
hospitals for artery-clearing.

After one year the death rates in the two treatment groups
were similar, said the report from the Duke Clinical Research
Institute, in Durham, North Carolina.

"High-risk patients with acute coronary syndromes remain
susceptible to continued cardiac events despite aggressive
therapies," concluded the report published in this week's
Journal of the American Medical Association.