March 12, 2006

Angiomax better than other blood thinners: study

By Deena Beasley

ATLANTA (Reuters) - For patients who have had a heart
attack or severe chest pain, the blood-thinning drug Angiomax,
sold by the Medicines Co., works as well as rival drugs to open
blocked coronary arteries, with a lower risk of serious
bleeding, researchers said on Sunday.

Results from a study of nearly 14,000 patients show that
Angiomax alone is at least as effective, and safer, than the
blood thinner heparin plus glycoprotein IIa/IIIb inhibitors,
said Dr. Michael Lincoff, professor of cardiovascular medicine
at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation.

"Right now the standard of care is heparin plus a IIa/IIIb
inhibitor," he said, referring to the class of drugs that
includes ReoPro, which is made by Johnson & Johnson and sold by
Eli Lilly and Co., MGI Pharma Inc.'s Aggrastat and Millennium
Pharmaceuticals Inc's Integrilin, which is marketed by
Schering-Plough Corp.

A study of patients with acute coronary syndromes assigned
them to one of three treatment regimens in the emergency room:
heparin plus a glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitor (GPI), Angiomax
plus a GPI, or Angiomax alone.

The results were presented at a meeting of the American
College of Cardiology by Dr. Gregg Stone of the Columbia
University Medical Center, the trial's lead investigator.

The trial found that Angiomax, a synthetic version of an
anti-clotting compound, worked as well as heparin plus a GPI to
reduce the rate of death, heart attack and revascularization,
but was much better at reducing the risk of major bleeding.

Severe bleeding occurred in 3 percent of patients given
just Angiomax, compared with 5.7 percent given heparin plus a
GPI and 5.3 percent given Angiomax plus a GPI.

"This should change clinical practice," Lincoff said.

John Kelley, president and chief operating officer of
Medicines Co. said in a statement that there are now two major
platforms for Angiomax growth: continued sales in the
catheterization setting and a future market in the emergency