Fastest Clot-Busting Therapy Approved by FDA

Published June 4th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

The US Food and Drug Administration approved a fast clot-busting drug for heart attack victims that can be administered in five seconds, compared to 90 minutes by a similar therapy on the market, the product's manufacturer said Friday. 

TNKase (brand name) is a clot-busting therapy administered over five seconds in a single dose for treating heart attacks, whereas Activase, the most widely used clot-buster in the past decade, requires a 90-minute accelerated infusion, Genentech said in a statement. 

"TNKase represents an important advance in the speed with which heart attack treatment can be delivered to patients, offering physicians the most rapid administration available to date with a new, safe and effective therapeutic option," said Arthur Levinson, Genentech chairman and chief executive officer. 

Therapies and procedures that open blocked arteries causing heart attacks significantly improve survival if they are administered within a few short hours of the onset of symptoms. 

Genentech, the maker of both products, said TNKase is similar to Activase, but that the former has specially designed features to allow for single dosing and targeting a key component of intra-coronary clots without causing great disturbance to the body's natural clotting system. 

Heart attacks strike more than 1.1 million people in the United States annually and cause nearly 500,000 deaths each year, according to the San Francisco-based company. 

TNKase is currently under review as a treatment for heart attacks in Europe as well – WASHINGTON (AFP) 


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