On this Saturday, clinical trial’s result concluded that prolonged use of the drug, Brilinta reduce the possibility of heart attack, even if the patients have a history of the disease.
Keeping aside some precautions that doctors have to give related to bleeding risks, this finding may help in boosting the sales of the drug which the company relies to drive growth through blood-thinning.
“There will be more bleeding, but I think the benefit for patients in terms of reducing their risk of dying or having another heart attack or stroke outweighs that,” trial researcher Marc Sabatine of Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital told Reuters.
Positively, there was not a fatal or irreversible bleeding into the brain.
John Keany, who was not a part of the study, said that there was to be a delicate balance to be struck between potent blood thinners and their side effect of triggering bleeding.
He saw that for each 10,000 patients treated, Brilinta would prevent 42 cardiovascular events per year but also causes 31 major bleeds.
The current general care given for patients more than a year on from a heart attack is the painkiller aspirin which prevents clotting. Adding Brilinta would be a major new sales opportunity.
Brilinta has struggled to gain traction until now, where AstraZeneca flagged the sales potential of the drug to reach to 3.5 billion dollars annually by 2023.
The company previously said that its biggest trial ever that had, was positive but the details were only revealed at the American College of Cardiology annual meeting, with simultaneous publication in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Among patients who had 60 mg of Brilinta twice a day plus aspirin, 7.77% suffered adverse cardiovascular events compared to the 9.04% of the aspirin-only group, which hence reduces the risk by 16% relatively. For the 90-mg variant, the risk reduction was 15%.