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From New England Journal of Medicine, Bhatt, D. L., Pollack, C. V., Weitz, J. I., Jennings, L. K., Xu, S., Arnold, S. E., Umstead, S.E., Mays, M.C., & Lee, J. S., Antibody-based ticagrelor reversal agent in healthy volunteers, Volume 380(19), Pages 1825-1833. Copyright © 2019 Massachusetts Medical Society. Reprinted with permission


BACKGROUND: Ticagrelor is an oral P2Y12 inhibitor that is used with aspirin to reduce the risk of ischemic events among patients with acute coronary syndromes or previous myocardial infarction. Spontaneous major bleeding and bleeding associated with urgent invasive procedures are concerns with ticagrelor, as with other antiplatelet drugs. The antiplatelet effects of ticagrelor cannot be reversed with platelet transfusion. A rapid-acting reversal agent would be useful.

METHODS: In this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 1 trial, we evaluated intravenous PB2452, a monoclonal antibody fragment that binds ticagrelor with high affinity, as a ticagrelor reversal agent. We assessed platelet function in healthy volunteers before and after 48 hours of ticagrelor pretreatment and again after the administration of PB2452 or placebo. Platelet function was assessed with the use of light transmission aggregometry, a point-of-care P2Y12 platelet-reactivity test, and a vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein assay.

RESULTS: Of the 64 volunteers who underwent randomization, 48 were assigned to receive PB2452 and 16 to receive placebo. After 48 hours of ticagrelor pretreatment, platelet aggregation was suppressed by approximately 80%. PB2452 administered as an initial intravenous bolus followed by a prolonged infusion (8, 12, or 16 hours) was associated with a significantly greater increase in platelet function than placebo, as measured by multiple assays. Ticagrelor reversal occurred within 5 minutes after the initiation of PB2452 and was sustained for more than 20 hours (P<0.001 after Bonferroni adjustment across all time points for all assays). There was no evidence of a rebound in platelet activity after drug cessation. Adverse events related to the trial drug were limited mainly to issues involving the infusion site.

CONCLUSIONS: In healthy volunteers, the administration of PB2452, a specific reversal agent for ticagrelor, provided immediate and sustained reversal of the antiplatelet effects of ticagrelor, as measured by multiple assays. (Funded by PhaseBio Pharmaceuticals; number, NCT03492385.).

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