The Straits Times
Published on Nov 21, 2012

Pfizer, Bristol get EU nod for blood clot preventer


(REUTERS) - European health regulators on Tuesday approved an eagerly anticipated blood thinner developed by Bristol-Myers Squibb Co and Pfizer Inc for the prevention of strokes and blood clots in patients who have an irregular heartbeat known as atrial fibrillation, the companies said.

The drug Eliquis, also known as apixaban, is widely considered one of the most important new products for the two United States (US) drugmakers, with multibillion-dollar annual sales potential.

The US Food and Drug Administration is expected to make its decision on the drug for use in the world's biggest market by March 17, after delaying a decision in June so that the agency could review additional information from clinical trials of the medicine.

The European Commission approval marks the first regulatory approval for Eliquis for stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation patients in any market, the companies said.