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FDA Approves New Antiplatelet Drug for Patients Undergoing PCI

Kengreal prevents blood platelets from accumulating during percutaneous coronary intervention

TUESDAY, June 23, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Kengreal (cangrelor) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to prevent blood clots from forming during angioplasty.

The intravenous medication is approved for adult patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention. By preventing platelets from accumulating, Kengreal reduces the risk of serious clotting complications related to the procedure, including heart attack and stent thrombosis.

In clinical trials, Kengreal was compared to Plavix (clopidogrel) among more than 10,000 participants. Cases of serious bleeding, while still rare, were more common among users who took Kengreal than Plavix, the FDA said. As with any anti-clotting drug, life-threatening bleeding is a potential side effect, the agency noted.

"For patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention, blood clotting can cause serious problems," 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, said in a statement. "The approval of Kengreal provides another treatment option for patients."

Kengreal is manufactured by The Medicines Co., based in Parsippany, N.J.

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