Pharmaceutical giant Bayer is partners with Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals in the manufacturing and marketing of the blockbuster blood thinner Xarelto. But the company is investing millions to develop a competitor product that has the potential to be safer and more effective at preventing blood clots that can lead to heart attacks or strokes.
Bayer has partnered with Ionis Pharmaceuticals, which is developing a blood thinner that is being called a significant improvement over existing therapies. The anti-thrombotic drug is called IONIS-FXIRx, and takes a novel approach to preventing blood clots by inhibiting the production of Factor XI, a clotting factor produced in the liver.
People who have an overproduction of Factor XI are at greater risk of blood clots. Those who have an underproduction of Factor XI have a lower risk of clot formation but not increased risk of bleeding events.
Blood thinners, like Xarelto, help prevent blood clots in certain patients, but they also increase the risk for dangerous bleeding events such as gastrointestinal bleeds and brain hemorrhages. Which makes IONIS-FXIRx an attractive notion. It would be the first blood thinner that does not carry increased risk for bleeding side effects.
Clinical trials on the novel blood thinner have been promising. A Phase 2 study involving nearly 300 patients who used the treatment to prevent blood clots following knee replacement surgery showed a seven-fold reduction in blood clots compared to patients who used another blood thinner. Those treated with the experimental drug also showed no increased bleeding. A previous study investigating safety and tolerability of the drug among patients with severe kidney disease on dialysis also showed a decrease in severe clotting events with no treatment-related serious adverse events.
Source: The Motley Fool