From: Reuters
Published March 29, 2008 09:40 AM

Lilly drug reduces stent clot risks, study finds

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Patients who got Eli Lilly and Co's anti-clotting drug prasugrel after a coronary stent procedure had fewer stent-related clots than those on standard drug therapy, an analysis released on Saturday found.

For stent patients, use of Lilly and Daiichi Sankyo Co Ltd's prasugrel could offer better protection against heart attack, stroke and death from cardiovascular events than standard treatment with Plavix, researchers said in an article published in the journal Lancet's online edition.

The results of the sub-analysis of data from the TRITON-TIMI 38 trial were being presented Saturday at the American College of Cardiology meeting in Chicago.

Study investigators found that intensive anti-clotting therapy with prasugrel resulted in fewer serious complications, including stent-related blood clots known as stent thrombosis, than with standard Plavix, regardless of the type of stent used. A 58 percent reduction in stent thrombosis was seen with prasugrel compared with Plavix.

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"Stent thrombosis was reduced both early and late after stent placement in patients randomly assigned prasugrel," the researchers said.

Stents are small wire mesh tubes inserted into the coronary arteries that supply blood to the heart to help keep them from narrowing again after they have been cleared of blockages in an angioplasty procedure.

The researchers, led by Stephen Wiviott of Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, did a sub-analysis of the TRITON-TIMI data to assess the rate, outcomes and prevention of coronary events in 12,844 patients with different types of stents who were treated with prasugrel plus aspirin, or Plavix, also known as clopidogrel, plus aspirin.

Roughly half of the patients received bare metal stents and half received stents coated with a drug to prevent re-clogging. Drug-eluting stents reduce the need for repeat procedures but raise the risk of stent thrombosis. Efforts to reduce the risk of stent-related clots, stroke or heart attack have focused on anti-clotting therapy.

The original TRITON-TIMI study of heart patients, first unveiled in November, showed prasugrel was 19 percent more effective than Plavix in preventing cardiovascular death, nonfatal heart attacks and strokes, but caused a significantly higher amount of serious bleeding.

Plavix, one of the world's best-selling drugs, is sold by Bristol-Myers Squibb Co and Sanofi-Aventis.

Lilly in December asked the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to approval prasugrel, considered the most important experimental medicine in its pipeline. If approved, Lilly said the drug's brand name would be Effient.

(Reporting by Susan Kelly; Editing by Bill Trott)

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