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Executive Summary

THROMBIN INHIBITOR ARGATROBAN SHOWS ZERO PERCENT REOCCLUSION RATE versus 15% reocclusion rate in patients receiving heparin after successful reperfusion therapy, a study sponsored by Daiichi Pharmaceutical shows. The study was presented Nov. 17 at the American Heart Association's 65th Scientific Sessions in New Orleans. An abstract of the study states: "The rate of reocclusion of infarct-related artery within one month was 0% in [patients taking argatroban] and 15% in [patients taking heparin]." The objective of the study was to evaluate the selective thrombin inhibitor argatroban's efficacy in preventing reocclusion after reperfusion therapy in patients with acute myocardial infarction, study investigator Hirotsugu Tabata, National Defense Medical College, Saitama, Japan, reported. He explained that coronary reocclusion after reperfusion therapy occurs in 10% to 15% of patients. A total of 35 patients with acute myocardial infarction (AMI) were given argatroban and 74 patients with AMI were given heparin 72 hours after successful reperfusion therapy with thrombolytics or angioplasty. "In the argatroban group, the frequency of reocclusion after [reperfusion] therapy was significantly lower than the heparin group," Tabata concluded. "No complications, such as massive bleeding" were recorded in the argatroban group, Tobata said. He noted that two patients treated with heparin had massive bleeding from puncture sites, "which needed transfusion." Tabata pointed out that unlike heparin, argatroban "doesn't have natural inhibitors and is effective for clot-bound thrombin." Argatroban was jointly developed by Daiichi, Mitsubishi Kasei and the University of Kobe, Japan. Genentech licenses U.S. and Canadian marketing rights to argatroban from Mitsubishi Kasei. Genentech said it has completed a Phase I study of argatroban and is considering future directions for the agent.

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