A cocktail of new anti-blood clot drug Prasugrel and aspirin reduces the risk of stent-related clots more than the standard treatment, according to a clinical trial review presented Saturday.
Prasugrel cut the risk of platelet formation around where a stent -- a small metal device -- was inserted to keep an artery open, by an average of 58 percent compared to Copidogrel (Plavix), according to analysis presented to the 57th annual American College of Cardiology conference in Chicago.
Researchers found that, during clinical trials, the anti-blood clot drug developed by US firm Elli Lilly and Japan's Daiichi Sankyo lab offered greater protection against the risk of stroke and death than Plavix, the standard treatment from American lab Bristol-Meyers Squibb and France's Sanofi.
The results of the study, which involved 12,844 patients, are published in the online edition of Britain's The Lancet medical journal.
"Stent thrombosis was reduced both early (30 days) and late (450 days) after stent placement in patients randomly assigned Prasugrel," said lead author Dr Stephen Wiviott, of Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School.
The patients involved in the trial had different types of heart stents, drug-coated or otherwise. Around half were treated with a combination of Prasugrel and aspirin, and the others with Plavix and aspirin.
Results of the trial, named TRITON-TIMI 38, were released last November and showed that Prasugrel was 19 percent more effective than Plavix in cutting the risk of strokes or heart attacks, although it provoked increased incidents of serious bleeding.
Plavix, which came on the market in 1998, is available in 80 different countries and is one of the top-selling drugs in the world. It brings in more than four billion dollars a year in sales in the United States.
Prasugrel is a new molecule discovered by the Daiichi Sankyo lab and developed in collaboration with Elli Lilly, which applied for US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval at the end of last year. If granted, it would be sold under the name Effient.