Impact of fondaparinux tested on most serious heart attacks

ATLANTA, GA (March 14, 2006) -- The results of a large international cardiovascular trial will shed light on whether the addition of a new drug that prevents blood clotting, or thrombosis, can improve the treatment of the most serious form of heart attacks. This research will be presented today at the American College of Cardiology's 55th Annual Scientific Session and the inaugural Innovation in Intervention: i2 Summit 2006 in Atlanta, Ga. ACC.06 is the premier cardiovascular medical meeting, bringing together more than 30,000 cardiologists to further breakthroughs in cardiovascular medicine. Innovation in Intervention: i2 Summit is an annual meeting for practicing cardiovascular interventionalists sponsored by the American College of Cardiology in partnership with the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions.

"In people with heart attacks, we don't yet know whether antithrombotic agents add to the benefit of existing therapies," said Salim Yusuf, M.D., a professor of medicine and director of the Population Health Research Institute at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. "The OASIS-6 trial will answer that question."

The OASIS-6 trial evaluated the safety and effectiveness of fondaparinux. This antithrombotic drug inhibits factor Xa, a blood protein that intensifies blood clot formation by activating a complex coagulation cascade and generating thrombin. Fondaparinux has previously proved effective in patients with blood clots in the veins of the leg and in patients with acute coronary syndrome.

"Fondaparinux prevents amplification of the coagulation system. By blocking one factor Xa molecule, you can block the production of 50 thrombin molecules," Dr. Yusuf said.

More than 12,000 patients participated in the OASIS-6 study. All had ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), a serious form of heart attack that derives its name from the elevation of the "ST segment" on the electrocardiogram. In some cases, the primary treatment for heart attack was clot-busting medication and in other cases, it was catheter-based therapy.

Investigators randomly assigned patients to add-on therapy with fondaparinux or placebo, adjusting the dose and treatment plan to take into account other blood thinning medications the patient's physician routinely used, such as glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitors or unfractionated heparin. The trial will determine whether fondaparinux reduced the risk of death or repeat MI within 30 days, while avoiding excessive bleeding complications.

Dr. Yusuf will present the OASIS-6 trial at a Late Breaking Clinical Trials session on Tuesday, March 14, at 2:00 p.m.

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The American College of Cardiology (www.acc.org) represents the majority of board certified cardiovascular physicians in the United States. Its mission is to advocate for quality cardiovascular care through education, research, promotion, development and application of standards and guidelines- and to influence health care policy. ACC.06 and the ACC inaugural i2 Summit, the first-ever meeting for interventional cardiologists, will bring together more than 30,000 cardiologists and cardiovascular specialists to share the newest discoveries in treatment and prevention, while helping the ACC achieve its mission to address and improve issues in cardiovascular medicine.

Innovation in Intervention: i2 Summit is an annual meeting for those practicing coronary and non-coronary interventions. Sponsored by the American College of Cardiology, in partnership with the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions and other professional associations, i2 Summit 2006 offers late-breaking interventional clinical trials, peripheral, vascular, coronary and valvular education, live cases from Europe, Asia and the United States, emerging technology / state-of-the-art lectures, expert simulation demonstrations, interactive Laptop Learning and general cardiovascular education at ACC.06, held concurrently with i2 Summit, for a dynamic, complete cardiovascular educational experience. i2 Summit consolidates all clinical, educational, practical and community needs into one event and delivers unsurpassed needs-based learning with true objectivity.


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