New Antiplatelet Drug Approved for Heart Surgery

Jun 22, 2015

The U.S. FDA approved Kengreal (cangrelor), an intravenous antiplatelet drug that prevents formation of harmful blood clots in the coronary arteries. FDA said the drug is approved for adult patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), a procedure used to open a blocked or narrowed coronary artery to improve blood flow to the heart muscle.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, PCI is performed on about 500,000 people in the United States each year. The coronary arteries are opened by inflating a balloon at the site of the narrowing, usually followed by placement of a stent, to keep the artery open.

By preventing platelets from accumulating, Kengreal reduces the risk of serious clotting complications related to the procedure, including heart attack and clotting of the stent (stent thrombosis), the press release said.

“For patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention, blood clotting can cause serious problems,” said Norman Stockbridge, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Division of Cardiovascular and Renal Drugs in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “The approval of Kengreal provides another treatment option for patients.”

As with other FDA-approved anti-platelet drugs, bleeding, including life-threatening bleeding, is the most serious risk of Kengreal.

Kengreal is manufactured by The Medicines Company based in Parsippany, New Jersey. Read the full release

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