FDA advisory panel backs Merck's blood clot-preventing drug

Wed Jan 15, 2014 4:19pm EST

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Jan 15 (Reuters) - Merck & Co Inc's experimental blood clot-preventing drug vorapaxar should be approved to reduce the risk of further heart problems in people who have suffered a recent heart attack, an advisory panel to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration concluded on Wednesday.

The panel voted 10-1 in favor of the drug, which would, if approved, be sold under the brand name Zontivity. The FDA is not bound to follow the advice of its advisory panels but typically does so. The drug should not be recommended for patients who have previously had a stroke because of an increased risk of bleeding in the brain, the panel said. (Reporting by Toni Clarke in Washington; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

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