GlaxoSmithKline says that the European Union’s advisory body, the CHMP, has backed the use of Arixtra (fondaparinux) in the prevention of venous thromboembolic events in abdominal surgery.

The opinion was based on the results of the 2,927-patient Pegasus study, which showed Arixtra to be at least as effective as the anti-thrombolytic drug, dalteparin, in reducing the risk of total VTE – 5% of patients receiving Arixtra experienced a VTE versus 6% of those taking dalteparin. In a subgroup of patients undergoing cancer surgery – representing 69% of the patient population – just under 5% of Arixtra patients experienced a VTE, versus almost 8% percent in the dalteparin group.

GSK acquired Arixtra from Sanofi-Synthelabo in September last year together with the thrombolytic, Fraxiparine (nadroparine), and a manufacturing plant in France – the sale was one of the approval conditions of the French firm’s takeover of Franco-German rival, Aventis [[13/04/04a]], [[02/09/04a]].