FDA green-lights Merck cardiovascular drug

The FDA approves Merck's (MRK -1.8%) Zontivity (vorapaxar) as a treatment to reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke and cardiovascular events and urgent procedures to restore blood flow to the heart in patients who have had a heart attack or peripheral artery blockage in the legs. Vorapaxar is a new class of drug called a protease-activated receptor-1 (PAR-1) antagonist. It reduces the ability of platelets to clump together.

Zontivity will have a boxed warning against prescribing the product to patients who have had a stroke, transient ischemic attack or bleeding in the head due to the heightened risk of bleeding in that area.

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