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The Medicines Company (MDCO - Analyst Report) recently announced the presentation and publication of a pooled analysis of three phase III studies conducted on its antiplatelet candidate, Cangrelor. The studies compared Cangrelor (intravenous) to Plavix (clopidogrel – oral) or placebo for the prevention of clotting complications during and after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI).

The data from the pooled analysis of the CHAMPION program was similar to results from the CHAMPION PHOENIX trial. Cangrelor significantly cut the odds of the primary composite endpoint of death, myocardial infarction (MI), ischemia-driven revascularization (IDR) or stent thrombosis (ST) at 48 hours after randomization by 19% and stent thrombosis by 41%.

Meanwhile, The Medicines Co. said that the occurrence of clinically important major bleeding (measured by GUSTO and TIMI bleeding scales) was not increased with Cangrelor. However, higher bleeding was observed when more sensitive measures were used though there was no major difference in the rate of transfusions. Transient dyspnea was higher with Cangrelor compared to Plavix.

The pooled analysis was presented at the European Society of Cardiology and published in The Lancet as well.

We note that Cangrelor is currently under FDA review with a response expected in the second quarter of 2014. The Medicines Co. is looking to get Cangrelor approved for use in patients undergoing PCI and in patients requiring bridging from oral antiplatelet therapy to surgery. The Medicines Co. remains on track to file for EU approval of Cangrelor later this year.

The Medicines Co. currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). At present, companies like Actelion Ltd. (ALIOF), Biogen Idec (BIIB - Analyst Report) and Gilead Sciences Inc. (GILD - Analyst Report) look attractive with all three being Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stocks.

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