Schumacher WA, Luettgen JM, Quan ML, Seiffert DA.
Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2010 Mar;30(3):388-92. Epub 2010 Feb 5.
The dose-limiting issue with available anticoagulant therapies is bleeding. Is there an approach that could provide antithrombotic protection with reduced bleeding? One hypothesis is that targeting proteases upstream from the common pathway provides a reduction in thrombin sufficient to impede occlusive thrombosis yet allows enough thrombin generation to support hemostasis. The impairment of intrinsic coagulation by selective inhibition of factor XI (FXI) leaves the extrinsic and common pathways of coagulation intact, making FXI a drug target. This concept is supported by the observation that human deficiency in FXI results in a mild bleeding disorder compared with other coagulation factor deficiencies, and that elevated levels of FXI are a risk factor for thromboembolic disease. Moreover, FXI knockout mice have reduced thrombosis with little effect on hemostasis. The results from genetic models have been supported by studies using neutralizing antibodies, peptide inhibitors, and small-molecule inhibitors. These agents impede thrombosis without affecting bleeding time in a variety of experimental animals, including primates. Together, these data strongly support FXIa inhibition as a viable method to increase the ratio of benefit to risk in an antithrombotic drug.
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