Thursday, January 21, 2010

Brilinta (Ticagrelor) better than Plavix. ?.......

W knew that, Astra-Zeneca,  in its PLATO clinical trial in mid-2009,  found that ticagrelor had better mortality rates than clopidogrel (9.8% vs. 11.7%, p<0.001) in treating patients with acute coronary syndrome. Patients given ticagrelor were less likely to die from vascular causes, heart attack, or stroke but had slightly greater chances of major bleeding which was non-significant (11.6 vs. 11.2, p=0.4). Like clopidogrel and ticlopidine, ticagrelor blocks ADP receptors of subtype P2Y12. In contrast to the other antiplatelet drugs, the blockage is reversible. Moreover, it does not need hepatic activation, which could reduce the risk of drug interactions-which makes it special.

Now this has been further substantiated by Dr. Chris. Cannon, who claims that  clot-busting drug Ticagrelor (Brilinta), may soon take the place of Clopidogrel (Plavix) in treating patients with acute coronary syndrome, which includes angina and heart attack.

In a new trial (by Dr. Christopher Cannon, a cardiologist with Brigham and Women's Hospital and an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, both in Boston), the upstart drug ticagrelor (Brilinta) reduced the risk of second heart attacks and death without raising the risk of bleeding, as clopidogrel (Plavix) can do and the authors claim  that this is pretty compelling evidence from this trial that ticagrelor is better without any increased risk of bleeding. 

In this study (funded by AstraZeneca) of more than 13,000 patients with acute coronary syndrome, Brilinta, appears to be more potent than Plavix and has  emerged with several advantages over the old standby  claims the researchers.

Brilinta is s processed as soon as it's swallowed (meaning it doesn't have to go through the liver), and kicks in faster than Plavix, where as Plavix (usually in combination with aspirin) has its share of problems, namely a lag time between when it is administered and when it takes effect, and variability in how different individuals respond to it. And because of an increased risk of bleeding, Plavix must be discontinued before surgery. Overall the researchers, claim that Brilinta has a more reliable level of anti-clotting effect. There's less variability. At the dose, it has about twice the level of anti-clotting effect and hence the  benefit in preventing heart attacks and stent thrombosis. The authors attribute the reason for the superiority of the drug to its quicker reversblity (than Plavix) and patients could have surgery with a lower risk of bleeding. FDA is expected to approve the drug late this year and  hope the patients with thrombosis, angina and acute coronary syndrome will breathe a sigh of relief...

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