AstraZeneca is celebrating after top-line results from a closely-watched trial of its potential blockbuster Brilinta demonstrated that the bloodthinner demonstrated statistically significant reductions in major cardiovascular thrombotic events in patients with a history of heart attack.

The huge Pegasus-TIMI 54 study, involving over 21,000 patients, assessed twice-daily Brilinta (ticagrelor) at either 60mg or 90mg, plus low-dose aspirin for the secondary prevention of atherothrombotic events in patients who had experienced a heart attack one to three years prior to study start. The primary efficacy endpoint, a composite of CV death, myocardial infarction or stroke, was successfully met and the complete results will be submitted to a scientific meeting in 2015.

Elisabeth Bjork, head of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases at AstraZeneca said the Pegasus study builds on data from the 18,000-patient PLATO acute coronary syndrome trial and “offers important clinical insights into its potential role for the longer-term prevention of cardiovascular events”. The company will now present the Pegasus data to regulators in a bid to significantly expand use of Brilinta.

Brilinta is key to AstraZeneca's future prospects and is growing slowly but surely, with third-quarter sales reaching $127 million, a leap of 75% on the like, year-earlier period.