University of Ottawa Heart Institute Trial Finds Popular Blood Clotting Drug Does Not Improve Patient Outcomes and Increases Risk of Bleeding

    WASHINGTON, Oct. 15 /CNW Telbec/ - A popular drug used to prevent blood
clotting during the treatment of severe heart attacks does not improve
outcomes for patients undergoing a life-saving surgical procedure. Further,
the drug - known generically as eptifibatide (pronounced ep-ti-fy-bah-tide) -
also increases the risk of bleeding. The results follow a ground-breaking
clinical trial conducted at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute (UOHI)
which sought to determine the efficacy of a drug that is widely used but for
which little clinical evidence was available to indicate a positive impact on
    The three-year trial, called ASSIST, was designed to test the safety and
efficacy of eptifibatide in serious heart attack patients who underwent an
emergency angioplasty - called primary PCI - to open blood and oxygen flow to
the heart. The study involved a total of 400 patients diagnosed with
ST-Segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI) at UOHI; 200 undergoing
primary PCI using eptifibatide, and 200 who did not. The Heart Institute's
trial results showed that using eptifibatide did not significantly improve
patient outcomes. In fact, the study found that using the drug increased the
risk of bleeding.
    "We believe there is no supporting evidence to be incorporating this drug
therapy for the treatment of acute STEMI patients, said Dr. Michel Le May,
Director, Coronary Care Unit
    Research Group, UOHI. "In fact, there is increased risk associated with
its use. As a result, we expect this study will reshape our current clinical
practice of medicine in managing the treatment and care of heart attack
    Dr. Le May presented the findings of the ASSIST trial today in
Washington, D.C. at the 2008 Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT)
Symposium, where interventional cardiologists from around the world gather to
discuss innovative techniques and therapies in cardiovascular medicine.

    About UOHI

    The University of Ottawa Heart Institute is Canada's largest and foremost
cardiovascular health centre dedicated to understanding, treating and
preventing heart disease. We deliver high-tech care with a personal touch,
shape the way cardiovascular medicine is practiced, and revolutionize cardiac
treatment and understanding. We build knowledge through research and translate
discoveries into advanced care. We serve the local, national and international
community, and are pioneering a new era in heart health. For more information,

    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
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For further information:

For further information: Marlene Orton, Senior Manager, Public Affairs,
University of Ottawa Heart Institute, (613) 761-4427,

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Ottawa Heart Institute, University of Ottawa

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