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12 April 2002 News Update


New Zealand has been selected as a key contributor to an international trial for an innovative new heart drug. GlaxoSmithKIine (GSK) has chosen New Zealand for the phase-two research because of the high quality of research produced in previous studies.

The new drug prevents atrial fibrillation, an abnormal heart rhythm, and is the first trial in patients with the condition. GSK is sponsoring the locally produced research costing $600,000 which is expected to produce results by March 2003.

"The drug has the potential to be a huge step forward in the treatment of atrial fibrillation which affects around 5% of the 65 year old plus population. Current treatments all have a high recurrence rate and some significant risks, but this new medicine shows some very encouraging preliminary results," said GSK medical director, Dr Ian Griffiths.

Phase-two will involve 650 patients across 50 hospitals globally. New Zealand is committed to providing 48 patients from six different hospital sites.

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