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Biomarker tags AstraZeneca's clot buster activity in patient subgroup

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A review of the results from AstraZeneca's ($AZN) PLATO study of its Brilinta (ticagrelor) clot buster has found that people with increased levels of biomarker high-sensitivity troponin T (hs-TnT), which picks out heart muscle damage, respond to the drug. PLATO (PLATelet Inhibition and Patient Outcomes) is a large, head-to-head patient outcomes study of Brilinta versus Plavix (clopidogrel).

The researchers looked at a subgroup of patients from the trial, who had non-ST-elevation acute coronary syndrome (NSTE-ACS) and were managed by revascularization or medical management.

In those patients in the subgroup with elevated hs-TnT, Brilinta tablets reduced cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction (MI; heart attack), and stroke compared with the PLATO population as a whole. The number of patients without elevated hs-TnT was small, so the outcomes in these patients were not quite clear.

"Hs-TnT is an important new biomarker that provides a much better ability to identify patients with ongoing myocardial damage. This biomarker allowed identification of NSTE-ACS patients with low levels of myocardial damage that would not have been detected by previous testing," said James Ferguson, AZN's executive director of medical affairs and strategic development and VP for global medical affairs.

- read the press release

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