Portola Pharmaceuticals Supports 2018 World Thrombosis Day Campaign to Raise Awareness of Blood Clots as an Urgent and Growing Health Crisis

October 9, 2018

Distributed by Portola

Highlights Proactive Risk Assessment in Hospitals as Opportunity to Optimize Patient Outcomes


SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.Oct. 09, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Portola Pharmaceuticals, Inc.® (Nasdaq: PTLA) today announced its 2018 partnership with the World Thrombosis Day campaign to help raise global awareness of thrombosis. Observed annually on October 13, World Thrombosis Day is led by the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis (ISTH), which has mobilized more than 1,500 partner organizations worldwide this year to shine a spotlight on the burden of arterial or venous thrombosis – the potentially life-threatening formation of blood clots in an artery or vein – and conditions caused by it.

Atrial fibrillation (AFib) and venous thromboembolism (VTE) are two major causes of thrombosis that affect millions of people worldwide. AFib, or arrhythmia, is a common type of irregular heartbeat that can lead to a clot forming in the chamber of the heart and traveling to the brain. Although less common than VTE, AFib increases the individual risk of stroke and accounts for approximately 15 percent of the 15 million strokes that occur worldwide every year.

VTE refers collectively to deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a clot in a deep vein, usually in the leg, groin or arm; or a pulmonary embolism (PE), an often-fatal condition that occurs when a DVT breaks free from a vein wall and travels to the lungs, blocking some or all of the blood supply. In the United States alone, up to 300,000 deaths per year, or 800 deaths per day, are attributable to a VTE. VTE risk is particularly high among the more than 8 million patients hospitalized annually for heart failure, respiratory failure, acute infection, stroke and other “acutely ill medical” conditions.

“VTE is the leading cause of preventable hospital death – ahead of pneumonia and infection – with more than half of all VTE cases occurring within the first 40 days following hospital admission,” said John Curnutte, M.D., Ph.D., executive vice president, research and development at Portola. “We are proud to support the World Thrombosis Day campaign’s efforts to raise awareness of thrombosis; particularly the risk of VTE and the importance of ensuring that protocols are in place to identify patients at risk and to initiate treatment when needed for this preventable yet potentially fatal condition.”

“Thrombosis is the leading cause of the world’s top three cardiovascular killers – heart attack, stroke and VTE,” said Gary Raskob, Ph.D., Chairman of the World Thrombosis Day Steering Committee for the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis. “We are proud to partner with Portola on the World Thrombosis Day movement to raise awareness of VTE as a significant and growing public health crisis, and to encourage healthcare organizations to review, update or establish protocols that proactively assess VTE risk for the full duration of its potential impact, beginning at hospital admission.”

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