AstraZeneca wants a piece of the multi-billion bloodthinner market

If you opened any financial newspaper or site today, you couldn't have missed it: AstraZeneca (AZN) announced that its experimental heart drug Brilinta was more effective than Sanofi-Aventis (SNY) and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co's (BMY) blockbuster Plavix in the prevention of cardiovascular events, such as heart attacks, in patients with acute coronary syndromes.

Both drugs are antiplatelet treatment, meaning they stop the platelets from clumping together and forming life-threatening clots in arteries. The Phase III clinical trial, involving 18,624 patients in 43 countries with acute coronary syndrome, showed that Brilinta worked better than Plavix in protecting high risk patients from heart attacks, strokes, and CV death.