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American Heart Association Late-Breaking Clinical Trial Report: New Reversible Oral Drug Reduces Cardiac Events in Primary PCI Patients
Date:11/15/2009

Study highlights:

-STEMI (heart attack) patients had fewer cardiac events with a new reversible oral anti-platelet drug compared to standard treatment with an irreversible agent. This was associated with reduced cardiovascular and all cause mortality.

-No increase in major bleeding incidents was reported.

ORLANDO, Fla., Nov. 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Acutely ill heart attack patients who received both aspirin and a new reversible oral anti-platelet medication had fewer cardiac events than patients on aspirin and the most commonly used, irreversible anti-platelet drug, researchers reported in a late-breaking clinical trial presentation at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2009.

In the PLATelet Inhibition and Patient Outcomes (PLATO) trial, a subset of 8,430 patients who were in the midst of ST-elevation heart attacks (STEMI) and were scheduled for primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) with stenting received the investigational drug ticagrelor or clopidogrel in addition to aspirin. Participants for the randomized, double-blind trial were recruited from 862 sites in 43 countries between 2006 and 2008.

The ticagrelor group suffered fewer cardiovascular events from the onset of the trial, and the benefits continued the longer patients took the drug during the year-long follow-up, said Philippe Gabriel Steg, M.D., lead investigator of the study. "The results are very clear and actually very consistent with the overall trial results of the larger PLATO trial, namely that there's a reduction in the primary endpoint -- a composite of incidence of heart attack, stroke or vascular death -- with no increase in major bleeding complications compared to clopidogrel," said Steg, professor of cardiology and director of the coronary care unit at Hopital Bichat-Claude Bernard in Paris, France.

Bleeding is usually a concern with new antiplatelet agents.
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SOURCE American Heart Association
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