“I think what we know is that in spite of the available treatments, there remains a substantial unmet clinical need in addressing prevention of these catastrophic secondary events.”

Results from the phase 3 THALES trial (NCT03354429) demonstrated that treatment with ticagrelor lowers the risk of the composite of stroke or death among patients with a mild-to-moderate acute noncardioembolic ischemic stroke (AIS) or transient ischemic attack (TIA) who were not undergoing intravenous or endovascular treatment. Days prior to the release of the published data, the FDA accepted a supplemental new drug application for the AstraZeneca agent.

Ticagrelor’s place within the cardiovascular sphere has been well documented, becoming FDA approved in 2011 as a blood thinner and again in September 2015 as an oral 60-mg tablet for an expanded indication for the reduction of cardiovascular risk in patients with a history of cardiovascular risk.

Naeem Khan, MD, vice president of AstraZeneca’s Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases Portfolio, sees the potential in ticagrelor among agents who prevent subsequent stroke events. He discussed the THALES trial in further detail and provided an overview on why ticagrelor has a unique path among other stroke treatments.