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J Thromb Haemost. 2007 Jul;5 Suppl 1:60-4.

Factor Xa or thrombin: is factor Xa a better target?

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Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA 02118, USA.


Existing vitamin K antagonists (VKAs) have drawbacks that limit their effectiveness, safety, and overall frequency of use. Oral anticoagulants in development with targeted action against individual coagulation factors, specifically direct factor (F) Xa and IIa inhibitors, appear to have pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties that overcome the limitations of the VKAs. Based on the theory of how coagulation factors interact, on the results of in vitro studies, and on clinical outcomes, there is accumulating evidence that FXa may represent a better target for inhibition than FIIa. This is based on an understanding of the amplified nature of coagulation factor interactions and fibrin formation, the need for smaller doses of an anticoagulant to block coagulation progression earlier in the sequence of reactions, the evidence for incomplete suppression of thrombin generation with direct thrombin inhibitors, evidence for rebound hypercoagulability with thrombin inhibitors, and clinical results with the indirect, parenteral, FXa inhibitor (fondaparinux), as well as early phase II results of new oral Xa and IIa inhibitors compared with enoxaparin. The latter studies, although not comparative, provide some evidence for the effectiveness and safety of Xa inhibitors at a range of doses not seen with the direct IIa inhibitors.

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