New data from a late-stage, head-to-head trial demonstrates that a group of the sickest heart attack patients taking AstraZeneca's experimental blood clot drug Brilinta experienced fewer serious cardiovascular events than the patients who were given Plavix. Significantly, researchers also say that Brilinta patients were no more likely to suffer from serious bleeding than the Plavix group.
The data from the Phase III PLATO trial is helping AstraZeneca build a convincing case for the drug (ticagrelor), which analysts expect could emerge as a megablockbuster if approved. The data has serious implications for Bristol-Myers Squibb and Sanofi-Aventis, which reap $9 billion a year from Plavix.
"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. The data was unveiled over the weekend at the annual scientific meeting of the American Heart Association.