WASHINGTON - An FDA advisory committee on Friday voted to recommend approval of Merck & Co. Inc.'s Aggrastat tirofiban platelet inhibitor for treatment of patients with acute coronary syndrome. The recommendation potentially sets up competition with two other GPIIb/IIIa inhibitors, Cor Therapeutics Inc.'s Integrilin and Centocor Inc.'s ReoPro.

However, physicians choosing among the drugs will have to consider the different clinical trial designs chosen by the companies, as well as differences of opinion between the FDA and its own advisory panel.