Bris­tol-my­ers, Pfizer’s Eliquis OK’D in Ja­pan

Austin American-Statesman - - BUSINESS - Com­piled from wire ser­vices

TREN­TON, N.J. — Reg­u­la­tors in Ja­pan have ap­proved sales of an an­ti­clot­ting drug called Eliquis, devel­oped by Bris­tol-My­ers Squibb Co. and Pfizer Inc., that’s a po­ten­tial block­buster in a new cat­e­gory of medicines to pre­vent strokes and heart at­tacks. But that’s only if it can win U.S. ap­proval, as two ri­val drugs have done.

Pfizer and Bris­tol-My­ers said Wed­nes­day that Ja­pan ap­proved use of Eliquis for treat­ing the most com­mon type of ir­reg­u­lar heart­beat, atrial fib­ril­la­tion, in pa­tients at risk for strokes or dan­ger­ous clots called sys­temic em­bolisms.

Al­ready ap­proved for sale in Canada and the Euro­pean Union, Eliquis has twice been re­jected by the U.S. Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion.

About a quar­ter of all peo­ple aged 40 and older de­velop atrial fib­ril­la­tion, a con­di­tion in which the heart’s two up­per cham­bers con­tract ir­reg­u­larly and don’t pump blood ef­fi­ciently.

It in­creases the risk of a stroke five­fold, and strokes caused by atrial fib­ril­la­tion are more se­vere than other strokes, with half of pa­tients who suf­fer them dy­ing within a year if not treated.

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