FDA Approves Novel Merck Drug To Prevent Heart Attacks And Strokes

May 8, 2014 9:19 PM

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The FDA today approved vorapaxar (Zontivity), Merck's Merck's once-troubled platelet receptor antagonist, to reduce the risk of myocardial infarction (heart attack), stroke, cardiovascular death, and revascularization procedures. The drug is approved for use in people with a history of MI or peripheral arterial disease. The approval represents an amazing turnaround for a drug that had experienced nearly as many ups and downs as an amusement park roller coaster.

Vorapaxar is the first in a new drug class known as protease-activated receptor-1 (PAR-1) antagonists. By preventing the ability of platelets to stick together and form blood clots, the drug can help prevent MI and stroke. But it also increases the risk of bleeding, including life-threatening and fa...

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