The antiplatelet drug ticagrelor may remove the need for genetic testing of patients, research suggests.
A sub-study of the PLATO trial showed ticagrelor, currently in development, was effective at reducing acute coronary syndromes (ACS) in patients with genetic polymorphisms that cause a poor response to conventional drugs.
The study, published in The Lancet, suggests treatment with ticagrelor means patients could receive faster access to more effective treatment.
However, about 10-15 per cent of patients have genetic variations in the genes CYP2C19 and ABCB1, which can cause a poor response to clopidogrel.
Researchers used data from 10,285 patients who were part of the PLATO trial and agreed to genetic testing.
The primary outcome was a composite of cardiovascular death, MI or stroke, with 12 months follow-up.
Among patients with the genetic polymorphisms, ACS occurred less often with ticagrelor than clopidogrel.
However, in patients without a loss-of-function allele there was no difference in efficacy between the two drugs.
Berkshire GP Dr George Kassianos, a member of the British Cardiovascular Society, said removing the need for genetic profiling was good news, as the service is often unavailable to a practice or the local hospital.
He added: 'It is more versatile when it comes to needing to reverse the anti-thrombotic action. This is important when there is a need to perform an intervention such as a coronary bypass.'