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Concept: Factor X


Background Emicizumab (ACE910) bridges activated factor IX and factor X to restore the function of activated factor VIII, which is deficient in persons with hemophilia A. This phase 3, multicenter trial assessed once-weekly subcutaneous emicizumab prophylaxis in persons with hemophilia A with factor VIII inhibitors. Methods We enrolled participants who were 12 years of age or older. Those who had previously received episodic treatment with bypassing agents were randomly assigned in a 2:1 ratio to emicizumab prophylaxis (group A) or no prophylaxis (group B). The primary end point was the difference in bleeding rates between group A and group B. Participants who had previously received prophylactic treatment with bypassing agents received emicizumab prophylaxis in group C. Results A total of 109 male participants with hemophilia A with inhibitors were enrolled. The annualized bleeding rate was 2.9 events (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.7 to 5.0) among participants who were randomly assigned to emicizumab prophylaxis (group A, 35 participants) versus 23.3 events (95% CI, 12.3 to 43.9) among those assigned to no prophylaxis (group B, 18 participants), representing a significant difference of 87% in favor of emicizumab prophylaxis (P<0.001). A total of 22 participants in group A (63%) had zero bleeding events, as compared with 1 participant (6%) in group B. Among 24 participants in group C who had participated in a noninterventional study, emicizumab prophylaxis resulted in a bleeding rate that was significantly lower by 79% than the rate with previous bypassing-agent prophylaxis (P<0.001). Overall, 198 adverse events were reported in 103 participants receiving emicizumab prophylaxis; the most frequent events were injection-site reactions (in 15% of participants). Thrombotic microangiopathy and thrombosis were reported in 2 participants each (in the primary analysis) who had received multiple infusions of activated prothrombin complex concentrate for breakthrough bleeding. No antidrug antibodies were detected. Conclusions Emicizumab prophylaxis was associated with a significantly lower rate of bleeding events than no prophylaxis among participants with hemophilia A with inhibitors. (Funded by F. Hoffmann-La Roche and Chugai Pharmaceutical; HAVEN 1 number, NCT02622321 .).

Concepts: Clinical trial, Warfarin, Pharmaceutical industry, Factor X, Coagulation system, Hoffmann–La Roche, Chugai Pharmaceutical Co., Hoffmann-La Roche


Development of inhibitory antibodies to coagulation factor VIII (fVIII) is the primary obstacle to the treatment of hemophilia A in the developed world. This adverse reaction occurs in 20-30% of persons with severe hemophilia A treated with fVIII-replacement products and is characterized by the development of a humoral and neutralizing immune response to fVIII. Patients with inhibitory anti-fVIII antibodies are treated with bypassing agents including recombinant factor VIIa (rfVIIa). However, some patients display poor hemostatic response to bypass therapy and improved treatment options are needed. Recently, we demonstrated that fVIII inhibitors display widely variable kinetics of inhibition that correlate with their respective target epitopes. Thus, it was hypothesized that for antibodies that display slow rates of inhibition, supplementation of rfVIIa with fVIII would result in improved thrombin generation and be predictive of clinical responses to this novel treatment regimen. In order to test this hypothesis, 10 murine monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) with non-overlapping epitopes spanning fVIII, differential inhibition titers, and inhibition kinetics were studied using a thrombin generation assay. Of the 3 MAbs with high inhibitory titers, only the one with fast and complete (classically defined as “type I”) kinetics displayed significant inhibition of thrombin generation with no improvement upon supplementation of rfVIIa with fVIII. The other two MAbs that displayed incomplete (classically defined as “type II”) inhibition did not suppress the potentiation of thrombin generation by fVIII. All antibodies that did not completely inhibit fVIII activity demonstrated potentiation of thrombin generation by the addition of fVIII as compared to rfVIIa alone. In conclusion, fVIII alone or in combination with rfVIIa corrects the thrombin generation defect produced by the majority of anti-fVIII MAbs better than single agent rfVIIa. Therefore, combined fVIII/rfVIIa therapy may provide better hemostatic control than current therapy in some patients with anti-fVIII inhibitors.

Concepts: Immune system, Coagulation, Enzyme inhibitor, Factor VIII, Protein C, Thrombin, Factor X, Coagulation system


Hemophilia A is a common X chromosome-linked genetic bleeding disorder caused by abnormalities in the coagulation factor VIII gene (F8). Hemophilia A patients suffer from a bleeding diathesis, such as life-threatening bleeding in the brain and harmful bleeding in joints and muscles. Because it could potentially be cured by gene therapy, subhuman animal models have been sought. Current mouse hemophilia A models generated by gene targeting of the F8 have difficulties to extrapolate human disease due to differences in the coagulation and immune systems between mice and humans. Here, we generated a porcine model of hemophilia A by nuclear transfer cloning from F8-targeted fibroblasts. The hemophilia A pigs showed a severe bleeding tendency upon birth, similar to human severe hemophiliacs, but in contrast to hemophilia A mice which rarely bleed under standard breed conditions. Infusion of human factor VIII was effective in stopping bleeding and reducing the bleeding frequency of a hemophilia A piglet but was blocked by the inhibitor against human factor VIII. These data suggest that the hemophilia A pig is a severe hemophilia A animal model for studying not only hemophilia A gene therapy but also the next generation recombinant coagulation factors, such as recombinant factor VIII variants with a slower clearance rate.

Concepts: Blood, Hemostasis, Factor VIII, Haemophilia A, Haemophilia B, Protein C, Thrombin, Factor X


Background Bleeding is a complication of treatment with factor Xa inhibitors, but there are no specific agents for the reversal of the effects of these drugs. Andexanet is designed to reverse the anticoagulant effects of factor Xa inhibitors. Methods Healthy older volunteers were given 5 mg of apixaban twice daily or 20 mg of rivaroxaban daily. For each factor Xa inhibitor, a two-part randomized placebo-controlled study was conducted to evaluate andexanet administered as a bolus or as a bolus plus a 2-hour infusion. The primary outcome was the mean percent change in anti-factor Xa activity, which is a measure of factor Xa inhibition by the anticoagulant. Results Among the apixaban-treated participants, anti-factor Xa activity was reduced by 94% among those who received an andexanet bolus (24 participants), as compared with 21% among those who received placebo (9 participants) (P<0.001), and unbound apixaban concentration was reduced by 9.3 ng per milliliter versus 1.9 ng per milliliter (P<0.001); thrombin generation was fully restored in 100% versus 11% of the participants (P<0.001) within 2 to 5 minutes. Among the rivaroxaban-treated participants, anti-factor Xa activity was reduced by 92% among those who received an andexanet bolus (27 participants), as compared with 18% among those who received placebo (14 participants) (P<0.001), and unbound rivaroxaban concentration was reduced by 23.4 ng per milliliter versus 4.2 ng per milliliter (P<0.001); thrombin generation was fully restored in 96% versus 7% of the participants (P<0.001). These effects were sustained when andexanet was administered as a bolus plus an infusion. In a subgroup of participants, transient increases in levels of d-dimer and prothrombin fragments 1 and 2 were observed, which resolved within 24 to 72 hours. No serious adverse or thrombotic events were reported. Conclusions Andexanet reversed the anticoagulant activity of apixaban and rivaroxaban in older healthy participants within minutes after administration and for the duration of infusion, without evidence of clinical toxic effects. (Funded by Portola Pharmaceuticals and others; ANNEXA-A and ANNEXA-R numbers, NCT02207725 and NCT02220725 .).

Concepts: Coagulation, Warfarin, Enzyme inhibitor, Inhibitor, Xanthine oxidase inhibitor, Thrombin, Factor X, Reverse


ACE910 is a recombinant humanized bispecific antibody that binds to activated factor IX and factor X and mimics the cofactor function of factor VIII (FVIII). This first-in-human study examined the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics (PK), and pharmacodynamics (PD) of ACE910 in healthy male adults. A total of 40 Japanese and 24 Caucasian subjects were randomized to receive a single subcutaneous injection of ACE910 (Japanese: 0.001, 0.01, 0.1, 0.3, or 1 mg/kg; Caucasian: 0.1, 0.3, or 1 mg/kg; n = 6 per dose group) or placebo (n = 2 per dose group). ACE910 exhibited a linear PK profile and had a half-life of approximately 4 to 5 weeks. In FVIII-neutralized plasma, ACE910 shortened activated partial thromboplastin time and increased peak height of thrombin generation in a dose-dependent manner. All adverse events were non-serious and did not lead to any subject’s withdrawal. Neither clinical findings nor laboratory abnormalities indicating hypercoagulability were observed. Two of 48 subjects receiving ACE910 (1 Japanese and 1 Caucasian) were positive for anti-ACE910 antibodies (anti-drug antibodies; ADA). One subject tested positive for ADA both before and after ACE910 administration, whereas the other became ADA-positive after receiving ACE910. The PK and PD profiles of ACE910 were similar in healthy Japanese and Caucasian subjects, and suggest that ACE910 will be an effective and convenient prophylactic treatment for hemophilia A. This trial was registered at (JapicCTI-121934).

Concepts: Pharmacology, Clinical trial, Coagulation, Factor VIII, Haemophilia B, Thrombin, Factor X, Coagulation system


Vitamin K has important functions within the body, some of which are still being discovered. Research has shown that vitamin K is an anticalcification, anticancer, bone-forming and insulin-sensitising molecule. Recent data indicate that subclinical vitamin K deficiency is not uncommon. Additionally, vitamin K antagonists such as warfarin may cause detrimental side effects, which may partly be blunted through vitamin K supplementation.

Concepts: Osteoporosis, Warfarin, Protein C, Vitamin K, Factor X, Protein Z, Coumarin, Vitamin K epoxide reductase


Background In patients with severe hemophilia A, standard treatment is regular prophylactic and episodic intravenous infusions of factor VIII. However, these treatments are burdensome, especially for children, and may lead to the formation of anti-factor VIII alloantibodies (factor VIII inhibitors). Emicizumab (ACE910), a humanized bispecific antibody mimicking the cofactor function of factor VIII, was developed to abate these problems. Methods We enrolled 18 Japanese patients with severe hemophilia A (with or without factor VIII inhibitors) in an open-label, nonrandomized, interindividual dose-escalation study of emicizumab. The patients received subcutaneous emicizumab weekly for 12 weeks at a dose of 0.3, 1.0, or 3.0 mg per kilogram of body weight (cohorts 1, 2, and 3, respectively). The end points were safety and pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic profiles. An additional, exploratory end point was the annualized bleeding rate, calculated as 365.25 times the number of bleeding episodes, divided by the number of days in the treatment period as compared with the 6 months before enrollment. Results Emicizumab was associated with neither serious adverse events nor clinically relevant coagulation abnormalities. Plasma concentrations of emicizumab increased in a dose-dependent manner. Activated partial-thromboplastin times remained short throughout the study. The median annualized bleeding rates in cohorts 1, 2, and 3 decreased from 32.5 to 4.4, 18.3 to 0.0, and 15.2 to 0.0, respectively. There was no bleeding in 8 of 11 patients with factor VIII inhibitors (73%) and in 5 of 7 patients without factor VIII inhibitors (71%). Episodic use of clotting factors to control bleeding was reduced. Antibodies to emicizumab did not develop. Conclusions Once-weekly subcutaneous administration of emicizumab markedly decreased the bleeding rate in patients who had hemophilia A with or without factor VIII inhibitors. (Funded by Chugai Pharmaceutical; JapicCTI number, 121934.).

Concepts: Blood, Coagulation, Hemostasis, Haemophilia A, Haemophilia B, Protein C, Division, Factor X


Antibodies (inhibitors) developed by hemophilia B patients against coagulation factor IX (FIX) are challenging to eliminate because of anaphylaxis or nephrotic syndrome after continued infusion. To address this urgent unmet medical need, FIX fused with a transmucosal carrier (CTB) was produced in a commercial lettuce (Simpson Elite) cultivar using species specific chloroplast vectors regulated by endogenous psbA sequences. CTB-FIX (∼1 mg/g) in lyophilized cells was stable with proper folding, disulfide bonds and pentamer assembly when stored ∼2 years at ambient temperature. Feeding lettuce cells to hemophilia B mice delivered CTB-FIX efficiently to the gut immune system, induced LAP(+) regulatory T cells and suppressed inhibitor/IgE formation and anaphylaxis against FIX. Lyophilized cells enabled 10-fold dose escalation studies and successful induction of oral tolerance was observed in all tested doses. Induction of tolerance in such a broad dose range should enable oral delivery to patients of different age groups and diverse genetic background. Using Fraunhofer cGMP hydroponic system, ∼870 kg fresh or 43.5 kg dry weight can be harvested per 1000 ft(2) per annum yielding 24,000-36,000 doses for 20-kg pediatric patients, enabling first commercial development of an oral drug, addressing prohibitively expensive purification, cold storage/transportation and short shelf life of current protein drugs.

Concepts: Blood, Coagulation, Haemophilia A, Haemophilia B, Factor X, Factor XI, Factor VII, Factor IX


A global Phase 3 study evaluated the pharmacokinetics, efficacy and safety of recombinant fusion protein linking coagulation factor IX with albumin (rIX-FP) in 63 previously treated male patients (12-61 years) with severe hemophilia B (FIX activity ≤ 2%). The study included 2 groups: Group 1 patients received routine prophylaxis once every 7 days for 26 weeks, followed by either 7-, 10- or 14-day prophylaxis regimen for a mean of 50, 38, or 51 weeks, respectively; Group 2 patients received on-demand treatment for bleeding episodes for 26 weeks and then switched to a 7 day prophylaxis regimen for a mean of 45 weeks. The mean terminal half-life of rIX-FP was 102 hours, 4.3-fold longer than previous factor IX (FIX) treatment. Patients maintained a mean trough of 20 and 12 IU/dL FIX activity on prophylaxis with rIX-FP 40 IU/kg weekly and 75 IU/kg every 2 weeks, respectively. There was a 100% reduction in median annualized spontaneous bleeding rate (AsBR) and 100% resolution of target joints when subjects switched from on-demand to prophylaxis treatment with rIX-FP (P <0.0001). The median AsBR was 0.00 for all prophylaxis regimens. Overall, 98.6% of bleeding episodes were treated successfully, including 93.6% that were treated with a single injection. No patient developed an inhibitor and no safety concerns were identified. These results indicate that rIX-FP is safe and effective for preventing and treating bleeding episodes in patients with hemophilia B at dosing regimens of 40 IU/kg weekly and 75 IU/kg every 2 weeks. (NCT0101496274).

Concepts: Blood, Coagulation, Haemophilia B, Factor X, Factor VII, Factor IX


Hemophilia A and hemophilia B are caused by congenital deficiency of factor VIII and factor IX, respectively, and may lead to recurrent, spontaneous bleeding into the muscles and joints resulting in disabling arthropathy. Effective management is available in the form of prophylactic infusions of clotting factor concentrates which have been demonstrated to prevent bleeding episodes and greatly improve the quality of life of these patients. Prophylaxis is, however, expensive. Usual dosing regimens rely on weight based calculations but dosing with an understanding of an individual’s pharmacokinetic response has been demonstrated to be more effective in predicting clotting factor levels that protect against bleeding episodes. Standard pharmacokinetic studies require a prohibitive number of time sampling points but recent population or Bayesian pharmacokinetics can be used to provide an accurate estimation of an individual’s pharmacokinetic response using a limited number of sampling time points. The use of population pharmacokinetics has the potential to greatly increase the use of pharmacokinetic dosing regimens and optimize the use of clotting factor concentrates in patients with hemophilia. Pediatr Blood Cancer 2012; 60: S27-S29. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Concepts: Blood, Coagulation, Pharmacokinetics, Haemophilia A, Haemophilia B, Factor X, Coagulation system, Factor IX