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1 in 5 heart-attack deaths could be prevented with new drug
Date:6/13/2011

ortium recently approved ticagrelor, on the basis that the initial expense of the drug is offset to a significant extent by the resultant savings, such as reduced need for procedures. In England, a verdict from NICE is awaited but final guidance is not expected until October."

One of the problems with clopidogrel is that about a quarter of people in the UK have a genetic variant that reduces the effect of the drug and are at greater risk. A sub-study of the PLATO trial was published in the Lancet confirming that patients treated with clopidogrel, who have such a genetic variant, have a slightly higher risk in the first month following heart attack but ticagrelor is not affected by this variant and is still more effective than clopidogrel, regardless of a patient's genetic make-up.

A common side-effect of ticagrelor is a sense of breathlessness which is usually mild and well-tolerated. Professor Storey presented data at the European Society of Cardiology meeting in 2010 showing that even patients who develop this side-effect still seem to have the reduced mortality risk compared to clopidogrel-treated patients. Another analysis led by Professor Storey showed that patients who develop breathlessness on ticagrelor do not show any problems on heart or lung tests, providing reassurance about the benign nature of ticagrelor-related breathlessness.

Professor Storey has been involved with the development of ticagrelor and related drugs for the past 15 years. 90 patients from Sheffield, with acute coronary syndrome, were recruited for the PLATO trial, which involved over 18,000 cardiac patients worldwide. One of the questions that is currently unanswered is whether continuing ticagrelor beyond 1 year after a heart attack will lead to continued benefit. This question will be addressed by the PEGASUS study which has recently started in the UK and many other countries, recruiting patients who are within 2 years of completing their one year course of
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Contact: Amy Stone
a.f.stone@sheffield.ac.uk
44-114-222-1046
University of Sheffield
Source:Eurekalert

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