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      Apixaban versus Warfarin in Patients with Atrial Fibrillation

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          Abstract

          Vitamin K antagonists are highly effective in preventing stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation but have several limitations. Apixaban is a novel oral direct factor Xa inhibitor that has been shown to reduce the risk of stroke in a similar population in comparison with aspirin. In this randomized, double-blind trial, we compared apixaban (at a dose of 5 mg twice daily) with warfarin (target international normalized ratio, 2.0 to 3.0) in 18,201 patients with atrial fibrillation and at least one additional risk factor for stroke. The primary outcome was ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke or systemic embolism. The trial was designed to test for noninferiority, with key secondary objectives of testing for superiority with respect to the primary outcome and to the rates of major bleeding and death from any cause. The median duration of follow-up was 1.8 years. The rate of the primary outcome was 1.27% per year in the apixaban group, as compared with 1.60% per year in the warfarin group (hazard ratio with apixaban, 0.79; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.66 to 0.95; P<0.001 for noninferiority; P=0.01 for superiority). The rate of major bleeding was 2.13% per year in the apixaban group, as compared with 3.09% per year in the warfarin group (hazard ratio, 0.69; 95% CI, 0.60 to 0.80; P<0.001), and the rates of death from any cause were 3.52% and 3.94%, respectively (hazard ratio, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.80 to 0.99; P=0.047). The rate of hemorrhagic stroke was 0.24% per year in the apixaban group, as compared with 0.47% per year in the warfarin group (hazard ratio, 0.51; 95% CI, 0.35 to 0.75; P<0.001), and the rate of ischemic or uncertain type of stroke was 0.97% per year in the apixaban group and 1.05% per year in the warfarin group (hazard ratio, 0.92; 95% CI, 0.74 to 1.13; P=0.42). In patients with atrial fibrillation, apixaban was superior to warfarin in preventing stroke or systemic embolism, caused less bleeding, and resulted in lower mortality. (Funded by Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer; ARISTOTLE ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00412984.).

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          Most cited references3

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          Apixaban with antiplatelet therapy after acute coronary syndrome.

          Apixaban, an oral, direct factor Xa inhibitor, may reduce the risk of recurrent ischemic events when added to antiplatelet therapy after an acute coronary syndrome. We conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial comparing apixaban, at a dose of 5 mg twice daily, with placebo, in addition to standard antiplatelet therapy, in patients with a recent acute coronary syndrome and at least two additional risk factors for recurrent ischemic events. The trial was terminated prematurely after recruitment of 7392 patients because of an increase in major bleeding events with apixaban in the absence of a counterbalancing reduction in recurrent ischemic events. With a median follow-up of 241 days, the primary outcome of cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction, or ischemic stroke occurred in 279 of the 3705 patients (7.5%) assigned to apixaban (13.2 events per 100 patient-years) and in 293 of the 3687 patients (7.9%) assigned to placebo (14.0 events per 100 patient-years) (hazard ratio with apixaban, 0.95; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.80 to 1.11; P=0.51). The primary safety outcome of major bleeding according to the Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction (TIMI) definition occurred in 46 of the 3673 patients (1.3%) who received at least one dose of apixaban (2.4 events per 100 patient-years) and in 18 of the 3642 patients (0.5%) who received at least one dose of placebo (0.9 events per 100 patient-years) (hazard ratio with apixaban, 2.59; 95% CI, 1.50 to 4.46; P=0.001). A greater number of intracranial and fatal bleeding events occurred with apixaban than with placebo. The addition of apixaban, at a dose of 5 mg twice daily, to antiplatelet therapy in high-risk patients after an acute coronary syndrome increased the number of major bleeding events without a significant reduction in recurrent ischemic events. (Funded by Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer; APPRAISE-2 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00831441.).
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            Apixaban metabolism and pharmacokinetics after oral administration to humans.

            The metabolism and disposition of [(14)C]apixaban, an orally bioavailable, highly selective, and direct acting/reversible factor Xa inhibitor, was investigated in 10 healthy male subjects without (group 1, n=6) and with bile collection (group 2, n=4) after a single 20-mg oral dose. Urine, blood, and feces samples were collected from all subjects. Bile samples were also collected for 3 to 8 h after dosing from group 2 subjects. There were no serious adverse events or discontinuations due to adverse effects. In plasma, apixaban was the major circulating component and O-demethyl apixaban sulfate, a stable and water-soluble metabolite, was the significant metabolite. The exposure of apixaban (C(max) and area under the plasma concentration versus time curve) in subjects with bile collection was generally similar to that in subjects without bile collection. The administered dose was recovered in feces (group 1, 56.0%; group 2, 46.7%) and urine (group 1, 24.5%; group 2, 28.8%), with the parent drug representing approximately half of the recovered dose. Biliary excretion represented a minor elimination pathway (2.44% of the administered dose) from group 2 subjects within the limited collection period. Metabolic pathways identified for apixaban included O-demethylation, hydroxylation, and sulfation of hydroxylated O-demethyl apixaban. Thus, apixaban is an orally bioavailable inhibitor of factor Xa with elimination pathways that include metabolism and renal excretion.
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              Antithrombotic drug development for atrial fibrillation: Proceedings, Washington, DC, July 25-27, 2005

              In July 2005, leaders from academia, government, and industry convened in Washington, DC, to discuss key issues in the development of antithrombotic treatments for atrial fibrillation (AF). In addition to summarizing available data on the relative benefits and risks of currently available therapies in diverse clinical practice settings, we reviewed designs of ongoing trials and registries, focusing on areas of methodological controversy and uncertainty. Participants in this meeting described the growing burden of AF, summarized the data showing effectiveness of warfarin for prevention of stroke in AF, and noted that warfarin is both underused and poorly monitored and adjusted in general practice. There was consensus that there is an important unmet clinical need for better treatment of patients with AF at risk of stroke, including alternatives to warfarin that address its limitations. Comparative noninferiority trials to develop alternatives to warfarin must include warfarin management that is at least as good as that provided in historical trials. There was agreement that noninferiority trials can be done based on historical warfarin trials, and that placebo-controlled trials focused on patients not receiving warfarin in general practice can provide important information as well. Statistical principles for noninferiority in this setting were discussed, and a standard approach was proposed. A majority of clinical trial representatives suggested that large, simple, open-label trials would provide the most meaningful information relevant to future practice, but regulators cautioned that, in such a simple trial, one needs to ensure that the control group does at least as well as the historical controls for the noninferiority design to be interpretable. With this summary document, we hope to provide a helpful resource for future drug development for AF.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                New England Journal of Medicine
                N Engl J Med
                Massachusetts Medical Society
                0028-4793
                1533-4406
                September 15 2011
                September 15 2011
                : 365
                : 11
                : 981-992
                Article
                10.1056/NEJMoa1107039
                21870978
                0ed8aa97-09cb-46d1-b825-ceb1a13f96a8
                © 2011
                History

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