Pfizer, Bristol clot drug wins EU green light for wider use

LONDON Fri Jun 27, 2014 7:26am EDT

The Pfizer logo is seen at their world headquarters in New York April 28, 2014. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

The Pfizer logo is seen at their world headquarters in New York April 28, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Andrew Kelly

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LONDON (Reuters) - Pfizer and Bristol-Myers Squibb's oral anticoagulant Eliquis has been recommended for wider use in Europe, boosting prospects for an important drug to both U.S. companies.

European Medicines Agency (EMA) experts recommended that Eliquis, also known as apixaban, should be approved for treating deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, as well as for preventing recurrent cases, the drugmakers said on Friday.

The two conditions occur when a clot blocks the flow of blood in a deep vein - usually in the lower leg, thigh or pelvis - or in blood vessels in the lungs.

Eliquis is already approved for reducing the risk of stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation, a form of irregular heartbeat common among the elderly.

The new approval will help Eliquis to compete with Xarelto, a similar drug from Bayer and Johnson & Johnson, as well as other rivals in the nascent field. Industry analysts believe the new generation of blood thinners could eventually generate sales of more than $10 billion a year.

Recommendations for marketing approval by the EMA's Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use, or CHMP, are normally endorsed by the European Commission within a couple of months.

(Reporting by Ben Hirschler; editing by Kate Kelland)

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