LONDON, June 27 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
(Reporting by Ben Hirschler; editing by Kate Kelland)