The Food & Drug Administration on Friday expanded its approval for a blood-clot-thinning drug developed by Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) to treat two new conditions.
Rivaroxaban, marketed as Xarelto, had already received the FDA’s OK for preventing strokes in patients suffering from atrial fibrillation and reducing blood clots in patients recovering from knee- and hip-replacement surgeries. Xarelto is now approved to reduce the risk of blood clots in patients experiencing deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolisms, the Associated Press noted.
The drug is the first oral anticoagulant aimed at blood clots in 60 years. The current standard blood-thinning drug, Warfarin, requires constant monitoring to prevent overdoses.
More than 900,000 people in the U.S. suffer from deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolisms each year. The two conditions lead to as many as 300,000 deaths every year.
Shares of Johnson & Johnson slipped fractionally in Monday morning trading.