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Keywords:

  • apixaban;
  • blood coagulation;
  • direct factor Xa inhibitor;
  • hemostasis;
  • oral anticoagulant;
  • thrombosis

Summary.  Background: Apixaban is an oral, direct and highly selective factor Xa (FXa) inhibitor in late-stage clinical development for the prevention and treatment of thromboembolic diseases. Objective: We evaluated the in vitro properties of apixaban and its in vivo activities in rabbit models of thrombosis and hemostasis. Methods: Studies were conducted in arteriovenous-shunt thrombosis (AVST), venous thrombosis (VT), electrically mediated carotid arterial thrombosis (ECAT) and cuticle bleeding time (BT) models. Results:In vitro, apixaban is potent and selective, with a Ki of 0.08 nm for human FXa. It exhibited species difference in FXa inhibition [FXa Ki (nm): 0.16, rabbit; 1.3, rat; 1.7, dog] and anticoagulation [ECm, concentration required to double the prothrombin time): 3.6, human; 2.3, rabbit; 7.9, rat; 6.7, dog]. Apixaban at 10 μm did not alter human and rabbit platelet aggregation to ADP, γ-thrombin, and collagen. In vivo, the values for antithrombotic ED50 (dose that reduced thrombus weight or increased blood flow by 50% of the control) in AVST, VT and ECAT and the values for BT ED (dose that increased BT by 3-fold) were 0.27 ± 0.03, 0.11 ± 0.03, 0.07 ± 0.02 and > 3 mg kg−1 h−1 i.v. for apixaban, 0.05 ± 0.01, 0.05 ± 0.01, 0.27 ± 0.08 and > 3 mg kg−1 h−1 i.v. for the indirect FXa inhibitor fondaparinux, and 0.53 ± 0.04, 0.27 ± 0.01, 0.08 ± 0.01 and 0.70 ± 0.07 mg kg−1 day−1 p.o. for the oral anticoagulant warfarin, respectively. Conclusions: In summary, apixaban was effective in the prevention of experimental thrombosis at doses that preserve hemostasis in rabbits.