Public Release: 

Novel blood thinner found to be safe and effective in women

Study shows cangrelor reduces the odds of cardiovascular events by 35 percent in women undergoing coronary stenting when compared to standard therapy

Brigham and Women's Hospital

Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) is a staple of modern day medicine in which cardiologists place a stent in a blood vessel around the heart in order to restore blood flow in people with heart disease. Blood thinners allow for the procedure to be completed with a reduced risk of certain complications such as clots. In 2015, a potent intravenous blood thinner, cangrelor, was FDA approved for this purpose following positive results from a multi-center trial. However, the efficacy and safety of blood thinners in women has not been previously well studied.

In new research, investigators from Brigham and Women's Hospital compared the safety and efficacy of cangrelor to another commonly used anti-platelet therapy, clopidogrel, to see whether the effects differed between men and women. Researchers found that among women, cangrelor reduced the odds of major adverse cardiovascular events by 35 percent and reduced the odds of stent thrombosis (clot in a stent) by 61 percent when compared to standard therapy. The odds of severe bleeding were not increased. Their findings are published in the January 19, 2016 issue of Circulation.

"In the past, questions have been raised about the safety and efficacy of blood thinners in women," said lead author Michelle O'Donoghue, MD, MPH, a cardiologist and researcher at Brigham and Women's Hospital. "This study provides important reassurance overall that this potent and novel intravenous blood thinner appears to offer as much benefit for women as it does for men."

The research team used data from the randomized control trial, CHAMPION PHOENIX, which studied cangrelor in more than 11,000 patients who were undergoing elective or urgent stenting.


CHAMPION PHOENIX was funded by The Medicines Company, which manufactures cangrelor.

Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) is a 793-bed nonprofit teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School and a founding member of Partners HealthCare. BWH has more than 3.5 million annual patient visits, is the largest birthing center in Massachusetts and employs nearly 15,000 people. The Brigham's medical preeminence dates back to 1832, and today that rich history in clinical care is coupled with its national leadership in patient care, quality improvement and patient safety initiatives, and its dedication to research, innovation, community engagement and educating and training the next generation of health care professionals. Through investigation and discovery conducted at its Brigham Research Institute (BRI), BWH is an international leader in basic, clinical and translational research on human diseases, more than 1,000 physician-investigators and renowned biomedical scientists and faculty supported by nearly $650 million in funding. For the last 25 years, BWH ranked second in research funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) among independent hospitals. BWH continually pushes the boundaries of medicine, including building on its legacy in transplantation by performing a partial face transplant in 2009 and the nation's first full face transplant in 2011. BWH is also home to major landmark epidemiologic population studies, including the Nurses' and Physicians' Health Studies and the Women's Health Initiative. For more information, resources and to follow us on social media, please visit BWH's online newsroom.

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