UPDATE 1-AstraZeneca developing reversal agent for heart drug Brilinta
* Antibody to reverse blood-thinning effect in emergencies
* Currently no products to reverse anti-platelet drugs
* Move may give Brilinta an edge in competitive market (Adds more detail on Brilinta and competition)
By Ben Hirschler
LONDON, Nov 13 (Reuters) - AstraZeneca is developing an antibody treatment to reverse the blood-thinning effect of its heart drug Brilinta in rare emergency situations, such as urgent surgery or in the event of major bleeding.
The move could give Brilinta an edge among drugs that block platelets in the blood, since there are no approved products to counteract their effects. Because they reduce clotting, the drugs can cause problems if doctors need to operate suddenly.
AstraZeneca said on Thursday the experimental antibody product, MEDI2452, was in pre-clinical tests at its MedImmune biotech unit.
Brilinta has struggled so far to gain traction in a competitive market, where Plavix - developed by Sanofi and Bristol-Myers Squibb - is now available as a cheap generic.
However, prospects for the drug brightened in August when the U.S. Department of Justice dropped an investigation into the original clinical trial used to win marketing approval, lifting a shadow hanging over the product. Continuación...