LONDON, September 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
FOR UK MEDIA ONLY
The alliance of Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer Ltd. announced today that ELIQUIS®▼ (apixaban), an oral treatment, is now available in the UK for the prevention of venous thromboembolic events (VTE - blood clots) in adult patients who have undergone elective total hip or knee replacement surgery.
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"Blood clots are responsible for around 25,000 preventable deaths in the UK annually and preventing them following, for example, major joint surgery, is a priority for the NHS. Apixaban represents a new option in clot prevention for UK surgeons," said Dr Ander Cohen, Honorary Consultant Vascular Physician at King's College Hospital, London.
"Apixaban is an oral option for patients once they return home after surgery - the time when they are most at risk of clotting complications. As it is taken by mouth, it offers patients an alternative to an injected anticoagulant."
Dr Cohen continued: "Clinical data showed that apixaban was more effective than the anticoagulant enoxaparin and importantly, it also showed no increase in bleeding rates compared to enoxaparin."
Professor Michael Rud Lassen, Glostrup Hospital in Copenhagen, Denmark, and lead investigator for the Phase 3 orthopaedic trials for apixaban said: "The initiation of treatment after surgery is an option recommended in guidelines. Doctors have to consider the benefits of treatment before or after surgery against the risk of bleeding, which can be caused by anticoagulation. The first dose of apixaban is given 12-24 hours after surgery, which allows the doctor time to ensure bleeding has stopped."
The licensing of apixaban is based on the ADVANCE-2 and ADVANCE-3 clinical trials in patients who underwent elective total hip or knee replacements.[1,2] These trials included over 8,000 patients and assessed the efficacy (in preventing clotting and death) and bleeding risk of apixaban compared to enoxaparin.
"By making apixaban available to doctors and their patients in the UK - an important milestone for the Alliance - we hope to help reduce the burden of blood clots in patients undergoing elective hip and knee replacement," said Dr Rick Lones, UK Executive Medical Director, Bristol-Myers Squibb.
About Venous Thromboembolism
VTE encompasses two serious conditions: deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a blood clot in a vein, usually in the leg, that partially or totally blocks the flow of blood; and pulmonary embolism (PE), a blood clot blocking one or more vessels in the lungs. DVT causes multiple symptoms including pain, swelling and redness and, more importantly, can progress to PE, which carries the risk of sudden death.
About the Bristol-Myers Squibb/Pfizer Collaboration
In 2007, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer entered into a worldwide collaboration to develop and commercialise apixaban, an investigational oral anticoagulant discovered by Bristol-Myers Squibb. This global alliance combines Bristol-Myers Squibb's long-standing strengths in cardiovascular drug development and commercialisation with Pfizer's global scale and expertise in this field.
About Bristol-Myers Squibb
Bristol-Myers Squibb is a global biopharmaceutical company whose mission is to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases.
Pfizer: Working Together for a Healthier World™
At Pfizer, we apply science and our global resources to improve health and well-being at every stage of life. We strive to set the standard for quality, safety and value in the discovery, development and manufacturing of medicines for people and animals. Our diversified global health care portfolio includes human and animal biologic and small molecule medicines and vaccines, as well as nutritional products and many of the world's best-known consumer products. Every day, Pfizer colleagues work to advance wellness, prevention, treatments and cures that challenge the most feared diseases of our time. Consistent with our responsibility as the world's leading biopharmaceutical company, we also collaborate with health care providers, governments and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable health care around the world. For more than 150 years, Pfizer has worked to make a difference for all who rely on us. In the UK, Pfizer has its business headquarters in Surrey and is the major supplier of medicines to the NHS. To learn more about our commitments, please visit us at http://www.pfizer.co.uk
 Lassen MR, Raskob GE, Gallus A, Pineo G, Chen D, Hornick P; ADVANCE-2 investigators. Apixaban versus enoxaparin for thromboprophylaxis after knee replacement (ADVANCE-2): a randomised double-blind trial. Lancet 2010;375:807-15.
 Lassen MR, et al. Apixaban versus enoxaparin for thromboprophylaxis after hip replacement. N Engl J Med 2010;363:2487-98.
SOURCE Bristol-Myers Squibb Ltd and Pfizer Ltd