The nine members of the Food and Drug Administration's cardiology panel said the new blood thinner, which Lilly developed with Japanese drugmaker
, is a significant improvement over its forebears for preventing blood clots in patients with heart problems. The drug, if approved by the FDA, would be an alternative to Plavix, sold by
Lilly had asked the panel to specifically evaluate prasugrel, which analysts say could bring in $1 billion in annual revenue, in patients requiring stents after arterial plaque removal .
Though the panel said prasugrel has life-saving potential, it said its use in people who've had a stroke should be discouraged.
Lilly, which makes such drugs as Cymbalta, Zyprexa, Prozac, Cialis and Byetta, which it comarkets with
, is among the big drugmakers --
and Bristol-Myers, to name a few -- thirsty for new drugs amid the impending onslaught of competition from generic versions.
The company recently
, in large part because of costs related to its acquisition of ImClone Systems.
Lilly shares closed up 3.8% to $38.69 and were tacking on an additional 1.1% in extended trading Tuesday.