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Astra’s Brilinta Gets a Boost

On the heels of positive outcomes from a second study of the blood thinner Brilinta, AstraZeneca plans to use the results to bolster an application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)  to expand and extend the use of the anti-platelet drug.

Called the Pegasus study, it followed 21,000 patients who’d had heart attacks and found that long-term use of Brilinta in addition to aspirin helped prevent further  heart attacks, strokes and cardiovascular deaths and the results were better than for those patients on long-term aspirin doses plus a placebo.

Brilinta sales were up 100 percent through the third quarter of last year and now it has climbed the top spot among branded anti platelet drugs used in hospitals. The drug is now the best performer in the category for new patient starts.