EU hands Pfizer, BMS an approval for blockbuster apixaban

Pfizer and Bristol-Myers Squibb racked up a key regulatory win on Friday when they announced that their blood thinner apixaban had gained approval in the EU. And analysts expect that the drug--to be marketed under the name Eliquis--is now on a path to peak sales of more than $2.5 billion.

For years warfarin and aspirin have been the two key blood thinners on the market to prevent blood clots among patients suffering from atrial fibrillation. But warfarin is linked with serious side effects, helping pave the way for a new generation of blood thinners in the pipeline.

"The approval of Eliquis gives European orthopedic surgeons a new option in VTE prevention that is more effective than the current standard of care, enoxaparin 40 mg once daily, and importantly, without increasing bleeding," the lead investigator.

"As the first Eliquis approval worldwide, today marks an important milestone for the Bristol-Myers Squibb/Pfizer Alliance," said Beatrice Cazala, Bristol-Myers Squibb's president, global commercialization, Europe and emerging markets.

- read the Pfizer release
- here's the Bloomberg report