FDA clears anticlotting drug Eliquis

The Food and Drug Administration says it has approved the anticlotting drug Eliquis, developed by Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and Pfizer Inc. It's a potential blockbuster drug in a new category of medicines to prevent strokes and heart attacks.

The agency previously rejected the drug twice, most recently in June, awaiting additional data from company trials.

The FDA cleared the pill for treating the most common type of irregular heartbeat—atrial fibrillation—in patients at risk for strokes or dangerous clots.

About a quarter of all people aged 40 and older develop atrial fibrillation, a condition in which the heart's two upper chambers contract irregularly and don't pump blood efficiently.

Bristol-Myers Squibb shares rose 60 cents, or 2 percent, to $32.50 in after-hours trading.

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