In 1984, appreciating the need for rigorous multicenter clinical investigation to test emerging therapies in cardiovascular care, the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) established the Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction (TIMI) Study Group, a confederation of experienced investigators and well-staffed and equipped coronary care units. Dr. Eugene Braunwald, the former Chief of Cardiology at the National Institutes of Health and at that time the Chairman of Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, was asked to chair this group, and did so until 2011, when Dr. Marc Sabatine assumed this role.
The first TIMI trial compared the effects of the then-new intravenously administered tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) with streptokinase on coronary and clinical outcomes in patients presenting with an ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). The trial was a success and demonstrated the superiority of tPA, which then became the preferred fibrinolytic.
Thirty years and 60 trials later, the TIMI Study Group has studied a broad range of patients, including: patients across the spectrum of acute coronary syndromes; patients with stable coronary disease, stroke, and peripheral artery disease; patients with metabolic cardiovascular risk factors such as dyslipidemia, diabetes, and obesity; and patients with atrial fibrillation. The trials span from phase I to phase IV and from less than 30 to more than 26,000 subjects. Trials have been conducted in over 50 countries and at more than 5000 separate sites.
We have studied a wide range of interventions including fibrinolytic, antithrombotic, antiplatelet, anti-ischemic, lipid-modifying, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetes, and anti-obesity agents, as well as percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). In addition, the TIMI Study Group has used its large database of clinical findings, biomarkers, and genotypes to enhance the understanding of cardiovascular disease and its risk factors.
By leading large-scale, international, randomized controlled trials of novel therapeutics and performing sophisticated analyses, we have been privileged to help shape the very practice of cardiovascular medicine for over a quarter of a century.