Good news. Another one of the new oral “blood thinners” in development, Apixaban (Eliquis®), has moved forward. On May 23rd, 2011 the European Medicines Agency (EMA) approved Eliquis® for marketing in the 27 countries of the European Community for DVT prevention after orthopedic surgery (hip and knee replacement). In the U.S., Eliquis® is not yet FDA approved, and still some way away from approval.Eliquis® is a “blood thinner” that has the same advantages as the other new oral “blood thinners”, such as Pradaxa® (Dabigatran) and Xarelto® (Rivaroxaban): (a) no need for monitoring of its “blood thinning” effect (i.e. no need to determine INRs the way warfarin [Coumadin®, Jantoven®] need to be monitored), (b) no influence of vitamin K in the diet on blood levels, (c) active within a few hours of being taken as a tablet, and (c) out of the blood within approximately 1 1/2 days after stopping to take it, so easier to manage before surgeries and procedures, such as colonoscopies.
As for DVT and PE treatment: large clinical studies (phase 3) comparing Apixaban with standard treatment with warfarin are ongoing (www.clinicaltrials.gov). Apixaban still has quite some way to go before it may come onto the US market, but it is nice to see that a variety of these new “blood thinners” (Summary table) are moving forward towards potentially coming onto the market.
Addendum: On Aug 28th, 2011, the large atrial fibrillation trial comparing Apixaban with warfarin was published in the NEJM. A new blog entry discussing this trial can be found here.
Disclosure: I have no financial disclosures relevant to the content of this blog post.
Last updated: Aug 28th, 2011