Merck gets approval for Zontivity for reducing stroke and heart attack risks

Whitehouse Station, NJ, drugmaker Merck ($MRK) has a renewed focus on cardiovascular treatments and on Thursday nabbed an FDA approval for a drug that will move that emphasis down the road. The agency approved Zontivity (vorapaxar) to reduce risk of heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular events in patients who have already had a heart attack or who have peripheral arterial disease. Zontivity is a first-in-class inhibitor of PAR-1, FierceBiotech reports, which keeps the receptor from interacting with thrombin and so prevents platelets from forming blood clots. The drug came with a black-box warning for bleeding risks. That has kept it from being indicated for patients who have already had strokes or transient ischemic attack, a big piece of the patient population that needs treatment. Announcement | Story

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