New thrombolytic praised for effectiveness

The American College of Cardiology is reporting a new clot-dissolver, saruplase, has outpaced streptokinase in a randomized study of 3,089 heart attack patients. Mortality rates were a full percentage point (5.7% vs. 6.7%) better at 30 days for patients given saruplase, and the overall rates of ischemic stroke were lower.

Researchers say while two treatments dominate the thrombolytic market - streptokinase and t-PA - a study comparing saruplase and t-PA is still forthcoming. Not yet on the market, saruplase is expected to be cheaper than t-PA (which is used more often in the U.S.) but probably more expensive than streptokinase should it eventually come to market. For details, call (800) 253-4636.