European experts back Pfizer, BMS drug apixaban

Europe's Committee for Medicinal products for Human Use backed the use of Eliquis (apixaban), an anti-clotting drug co-developed by Pfizer and Bristol-Myers Squibb. The treatment is indicated to prevent blood clots in patients who've received elective hip or knee replacement surgery. The EMA usually follows the CHMP's recommendations, meaning that European approval could swiftly follow.

Apixaban targets a protein called Factor Xa, which plays a role in the development of blood clots. In 2007 Pfizer paid $250 million up front and promised up to $750 million in milestones to partner with Bristol-Myers Squibb on apixaban. If approved the drug will compete with other next-generation clotting treatments like Bayer's Xarelto, which has yet to be approved in the U.S.

- read the Reuters brief 

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