American pharmaceutical giant Pfizer announced that it has gained the approval from the European Commission to market its newest blood thinner drug in the European market.
The apixaban based drug will be marketed under the brand name Eliquis and is expected to rack up annual sales of over $2.5 billion. Eliquis is expected to provide stiff competition to warfarin, a popular blood thinner used in Europe, given that the drug is known to cause some serious side effects in patients.
According to Pfizer, Eliquis will be given to patients who have undergone hip and knee replacement surgeries in order to prevent venous thromboembolic events (VTE) and is the first oral direct Factor Xa inhibitor drug to be approved by the European authorities.
"The approval of Eliquis provides a new oral option for patients in the EU undergoing elective hip or knee replacement surgery, where the risk of bleeding is a significant concern", Pfizer's Olivier Brandicourt said.