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Bayer's Blood Thinner also Effective for Artery Disease

February 08, 2017

By Reuters Staff

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Bayer's best-selling blood-thinner Xarelto (rivaroxaban) has also proved effective in preventing heart attack and stroke in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) or peripheral artery disease (PAD), the company said on Wednesday.

The drug is approved to prevent stroke in patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation and deep vein thrombosis, among other uses, but to widen its use Bayer has been testing Xarelto in patients with CAD or PAD.

The phase 3 COMPASS trial involving 27,402 patients was due to end in early 2018 but Xarelto proved so effective it has been halted.

Independent safety monitors ruled that the drug's efficacy had been so evident, control patients in the trial who were only receiving aspirin should also be given Xarelto.

A complete data analysis is expected to be presented at an upcoming medical meeting in 2017, Bayer said.

According to Bayer, Xarelto could potentially be used on 30 million patients with CAD and PAD, in addition to the roughly 25 million patients it sees in the atrial fibrillation market.

The company, which is buying seeds maker Monsanto, raised its annual peak sales potential estimate for the drug last year to more than 5 billion euros ($5.3 billion).

The pill generated 2.1 billion euros in sales for Bayer during the first nine months of 2016, up more than 30 percent from a year earlier.

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