U.S. panel backs Boehringer drug to reduce strokes
SILVER SPRING, Maryland (Reuters) - A new blood-thinning drug moved closer to U.S. approval on Monday, leading a pack of stroke-fighting medicines vying to compete in an estimated $10 billion a year market.
A U.S. advisory panel voted 9-0 to recommend clearance of Pradaxa, made by unlisted German drugmaker Boehringer Ingelheim, for preventing strokes in patients with a type of irregular heart beat.
The endorsement puts Pradaxa ahead of a possible competitors from partners Bayer and Johnson & Johnson, and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co and Pfizer.
The companies are racing to launch new oral anti-coagulant drugs to replace warfarin, a problematic 65-year-old medicine originally developed as rat poison.
Warfarin is the treatment of choice for people at high risk of stroke due to atrial fibrillation, a common form of irregular heart beat. But the drug interacts badly with food and other medicines, carries a high risk of bleeding and requires regular blood tests.
National Stroke Association’s mission is to reduce the incidence and impact of stroke by developing compelling education and programs focused on prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and support for all impacted by stroke.