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

About World Thrombosis Day
Now in its fifth year, World Thrombosis Day is a global movement observed annually on October 13 and led by ISTH. More than 1,500 organizations representing more than 90 countries worldwide will join together this year to highlight thrombosis as an urgent, growing and underappreciated health condition, and encourage healthcare professionals, key decision makers and the public to know the risk factors, signs/symptoms and appropriate prevention.

World Thrombosis Day’s mission supports the World Health Assembly's global target of reducing premature deaths by non-communicable disease by 25 percent by 2025, as well as the World Health Organization’s (WHO) global action plan for the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases in the 2013-2020 timeframe. Portola Pharmaceuticals is one of many proud sponsors of World Thrombosis Day 2018. Visit for more information.

About the ISTH
Founded in 1969, the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis (ISTH) is the leading worldwide not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing the understanding, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of thrombotic and bleeding disorders. The ISTH is an international membership organization with nearly 4,000 clinicians, researchers and educators working together to improve the lives of patients in more than 94 countries around the world. Among its highly regarded activities and initiatives are education and standardization programs, research activities, meetings and conferences, peer-reviewed publications and expert committees. Visit ISTH online at

About Portola Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Portola Pharmaceuticals is a commercial-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of novel therapeutics that could significantly advance the fields of thrombosis and other hematologic diseases. The Company’s two FDA-approved medicines are Andexxa® [coagulation factor Xa (recombinant), inactivated-zhzo], the first and only antidote for patients treated with rivaroxaban and apixaban when reversal of anticoagulation is needed due to life-threatening or uncontrolled bleeding, and Bevyxxa® (betrixaban), the first and only oral, once-daily Factor Xa inhibitor for the prevention of VTE in adult patients hospitalized for an acute medical illness. The company also is advancing cerdulatinib, a Syk/JAK inhibitor for the treatment of hematologic cancers.

Investor Contact:                                                          
Cara Miller                                                                   
Portola Pharmaceuticals                                                                                                  

Media Contact:
Patrick Ryan
Pure Communications 


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