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AstraZeneca's Brilinta proves safety in heart attack patients at Phase 3

Published on 12/03/18 at 12:09pm

AstraZeneca has revealed new Phase 3 data on its direct-acting P2Y12 receptor antagonist Brilinta (ticagrelor) at the American College of Cardiology’s 67th Annual Scientific Session in Orlando, showing that the drug met its primary endpoint in heart attack patients treated with pharmacological thrombolysis.

The 3,801-participant study indicated that Brilinta presents a comparable safety profile to clopidogrel, which is sold under the brand name Plavix by Sanofi and Bristol-Myers Squibb, as measured by major bleeding after 30 days of treatment. It was shown that rates of major cardiovascular events were similar between the two drugs.

The findings show that Brilinta could be a suitable treatment option for high-risk heart attack patients who have previously been treated with pharmacological thrombolysis, or blood thinning – a recommended therapy alternative for heart attack patients who cannot access primary percutaneous coronary intervention (pPCI) to unblock damaged blood vessels following an attack. AstraZeneca now plans to assess the safety and efficacy profile of the treatment again at 12 months.

“Millions of people have a heart attack each year, and how they are treated in the immediate period that follows has huge implications on patient outcomes,” commented Dr Otavio Berwanger, chair of the study’s steering committee. “Although pPCI is considered the gold standard, thrombolysis is also an effective alternative and commonly used treatment strategy, and due to the previous lack of safety data for ticagrelor in this population, many patients are currently limited to clopidogrel alongside thrombolytic therapy. With the latest ESC guidelines4 also indicating a potential role for potent P2Y12 therapy for these high risk STEMI patients, the TREAT safety data has the potential to be practice changing.”

Matt Fellows

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