AstraZeneca blood thinner undergoes trials
  • Wed, 07/18/2012 - 10:45am

In a new international clinical trial, AstraZeneca PLC will compare its blood thinner, Brilinta, to clopidogrel, the generic form of popular blood thinner Plavix.

The trial, called Euclid, will study 11, 500 patients 50 years of age or older experiencing peripheral artery disease symptoms. According to MedicineNet, peripheral artery disease occurs when fatty deposits line the walls of an artery and either decrease or block blood flow to an arm or leg. Symptoms of restricted blood flow in the leg only occur during physical exertion and include:

  • Fatigue while walking
  • Cramps or pain in the hip, buttock, thigh, knee, shin or upper foot.

Symptoms in the arm can include:

  • Discomfort when using the arm
  • Heaviness or tiredness in the arm
  • Cramping in the arm

Patients in the Euclid trial will either be placed on 90 milligrams of Brilinta twice daily or 75 milligrams of clopidogrel (Plavix) once daily, Bloomberg reported.

Brilinta will also undergo a long-term trial called Parthenon that will study 51,000 patients from all over the world. According to Bloomberg, AstraZeneca already compared Brilinta to Plavix for use in patients at risk of life-threatening blood clots in its first clinical trial, Pluto.

AstraZeneca, the U.K.’s second largest drug manufacturer, aims to expand the uses of Brilinta, which the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved last year to prevent heart attack, stroke and death in patients with acute coronary syndromes, such as chest pain or a history of heart attack. Europe authorized the use of Brilinta under the name Brilique in December 2010.

Reuters stated that AstraZeneca hopes to seize more market share from Plavix, since its patent recently expired. A patent, according to MedicineNet, gives its owner the sole custody and control of a drug, including its chemical formulation.

Blood thinners like Brilinta and Plavix stop blood from forming clots, according to MedicineNet. Blood clots can cause heart attack, stroke and other thromoembolic disorders.

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About the Contributor

Jessica Davids
Cleveland
I report on FDA developments and new pharmaceutical launches, risks, and safety concerns.

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