Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Release: New Data Show Idarucizumab* Restores Wound-Site Formation Of Fibrin, A Key Component Of Blood Clotting, In Healthy Volunteers Given Pradaxa (dabigatran etexilate mesylate)

RIDGEFIELD, Conn., Nov. 18, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced phase I study sub-analyses showing that its investigational antidote idarucizumab reverses the effects of dabigatran, the active ingredient in Pradaxa® (dabigatran etexilate mesylate), on fibrin formation in healthy volunteers. The results showed idarucizumab, a humanized antibody fragment (Fab), restores wound-site formation of fibrin, the main component of a blood clot. The findings were presented today during the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2014.

"These data are the first to show idarucizumab restores dabigatran-induced inhibition of wound-site fibrin formation," said Joanne van Ryn, Ph.D., Department of CardioMetabolic Disease Research, Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH & Co., Germany. "The findings from this sub-analysis complement earlier findings which showed that idarucizumab provides immediate, complete and sustained reversal of the anticoagulation effects of dabigatran."

In this sub-study of 35 healthy volunteers, fibrin formation was assessed after a small scratch, similar to a paper cut, was made. Measurements were conducted at baseline, after administration of PRADAXA, and after subsequent administration of idarucizumab or placebo.

The results showed that dabigatran almost completely inhibited the production of fibrinopeptide A (FPA), the marker of fibrin formation at the wound site, and that idarucizumab restored FPA production:

  • At baseline, before the volunteers took PRADAXA, the average level of FPA was 3981 ng/mL.
  • On day three, 2.5 hours after the volunteers took PRADAXA, the average level of FPA was 208 ng/mL, an approximate 95 percent decrease compared to baseline.
  • On day four, 2.5 hours after the volunteers took PRADAXA and 30 minutes after they were infused with 1 g, 2 g or 4 g of idarucizumab, FPA levels were 24 percent, 45 percent and 95 percent, respectively, of the average baseline level.

The restored fibrin production at the wound site after idarucizumab dosing with 2 g or 4 g also correlated with reversal of the dabigatran-anticoagulation activity in circulating blood.

"Boehringer Ingelheim began developing idarucizumab prior to regulatory approval of PRADAXA in 2010. The development of the PRADAXA-specific antidote is an important example of the company's dedication to research and innovation in the treatment of non-valvular atrial fibrillation, deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism," said Sabine Luik, M.D., senior vice president, Medicine & Regulatory Affairs, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. "PRADAXA has an established risk-benefit profile when used as directed. We are developing idarucizumab to provide an additional therapeutic option for patients treated with PRADAXA who have uncontrolled bleeding or require emergency procedures."

Boehringer Ingelheim is continuing to evaluate idarucizumab in RE-VERSE AD, a phase III global study investigating idarucizumab in actual clinical settings where PRADAXA patients may require emergency intervention or experience an uncontrolled or life threatening bleeding event. This is the first-ever trial to investigate a specific antidote in patients actively being treated with a newer oral anticoagulant.

About Idarucizumab
Idarucizumab is a humanized antibody fragment, or Fab, being investigated as a specific antidote for the anticoagulant effect of dabigatran. Pre-clinical studies indicate idarucizumab binds specifically to and inhibits dabigatran.

Phase I data with idarucizumab in healthy volunteers demonstrated the potential of the antidote to achieve immediate, complete and sustained reversal of dabigatran-induced anticoagulation. In that placebo-controlled study, idarucizumab did not cause any clinically relevant side effects. No pro-thrombotic effect was observed after the administration of the antidote and no return of anticoagulant activity of dabigatran over time at adequate doses.

In June, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation to idarucizumab.

About Pradaxa® (dabigatran etexilate mesylate) Capsules

Indications and Usage
Pradaxa® (dabigatran etexilate mesylate) capsules is indicated:

  • to reduce the risk of stroke and systemic embolism in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation




Premature discontinuation of any oral anticoagulant, including PRADAXA, increases the risk of thrombotic events. If anticoagulation with PRADAXA is discontinued for a reason other than pathological bleeding or completion of a course of therapy, consider coverage with another anticoagulant
Epidural or spinal hematomas may occur in patients treated with PRADAXA who are receiving neuraxial anesthesia or undergoing spinal puncture. These hematomas may result in long-term or permanent paralysis. Consider these risks when scheduling patients for spinal procedures. Factors that can increase the risk of developing epidural or spinal hematomas in these patients include:

  • use of indwelling epidural catheters
  • concomitant use of other drugs that affect hemostasis, such as non-steroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), platelet inhibitors, other anticoagulants
  • a history of traumatic or repeated epidural or spinal punctures
  • a history of spinal deformity or spinal surgery
  • optimal timing between the administration of PRADAXA and neuraxial procedures is not known

Monitor patients frequently for signs and symptoms of neurological impairment. If neurological compromise is noted, urgent treatment is necessary.  Consider the benefits and risks before neuraxial intervention in patients who are or will be anticoagulated.

PRADAXA is contraindicated in patients with:
-  active pathological bleeding;
-  known serious hypersensitivity reaction (e.g., anaphylactic reaction or anaphylactic shock) to PRADAXA;
-  mechanical prosthetic heart valve

Increased Risk of Thrombotic Events after Premature Discontinuation
Premature discontinuation of any oral anticoagulant, including PRADAXA, in the absence of adequate alternative anticoagulation increases the risk of thrombotic events.  If PRADAXA is discontinued for a reason other than pathological bleeding or completion of a course of therapy, consider coverage with another anticoagulant.

Risk of Bleeding

  • PRADAXA increases the risk of bleeding and can cause significant and, sometimes, fatal bleeding. Promptly evaluate any signs or symptoms of blood loss (e.g., a drop in hemoglobin and/or hematocrit or hypotension). Discontinue PRADAXA in patients with active pathological bleeding.
  • Risk factors for bleeding include concomitant use of medications that increase the risk of bleeding (e.g., anti-platelet agents, heparin, fibrinolytic therapy, and chronic use of NSAIDs). PRADAXA's anticoagulant activity and half-life are increased in patients with renal impairment.
  • Reversal of Anticoagulant Effect: A specific reversal agent for dabigatran is not available. Hemodialysis can remove dabigatran; however clinical experience for hemodialysis as a treatment for bleeding is limited.  Activated prothrombin complex concentrates, recombinant Factor VIIa, or concentrates of factors II, IX or X may be considered but their use has not been evaluated.  Protamine sulfate and vitamin K are not expected to affect dabigatran anticoagulant activity.  Consider administration of platelet concentrates where thrombocytopenia is present or long-acting antiplatelet drugs have been used.

Thromboembolic and Bleeding Events in Patients with Prosthetic Heart Valves
The use of PRADAXA is contraindicated in patients with mechanical prosthetic valves due to a higher risk for thromboembolic events, especially in the post-operative period, and an excess of major bleeding for PRADAXA vs. warfarin. Use of PRADAXA for the prophylaxis of thromboembolic events in patients with AFib in the setting of other forms of valvular heart disease, including bioprosthetic heart valve, has not been studied and is not recommended.

Effect of P-gp Inducers & Inhibitors on Dabigatran Exposure
Concomitant use of PRADAXA with P-gp inducers (e.g., rifampin) reduces exposure to dabigatran and should generally be avoided.  P-gp inhibition and impaired renal function are major independent factors in increased exposure to dabigatran.  Concomitant use of P-gp inhibitors in patients with renal impairment is expected to increase exposure of dabigatran compared to either factor alone.

Reduction of Risk of Stroke/Systemic Embolism in NVAF

  • For patients with moderate renal impairment (CrCl 30-50 mL/min), consider reducing the dose of PRADAXA to 75 mg twice daily when dronedarone or systemic ketoconazole is coadministered with PRADAXA.
  • For patients with severe renal impairment (CrCl 15-30 mL/min), avoid concomitant use of PRADAXA and P-gp inhibitors.


The most serious adverse reactions reported with PRADAXA were related to bleeding.

  • Most frequent adverse reactions leading to discontinuation of PRADAXA were bleeding & gastrointestinal (GI) events.
  • PRADAXA 150 mg resulted in higher rates of major and any GI bleeds compared to warfarin.
  • In patients >75 years of age, the risk of major bleeding may be greater with PRADAXA vs warfarin.
  • Patients on PRADAXA 150 mg had an increased incidence of GI adverse reactions. These were commonly dyspepsia (including abdominal pain upper, abdominal pain, abdominal discomfort, and epigastric discomfort) and gastritis-like symptoms (including GERD, esophagitis, erosive gastritis, gastric hemorrhage, hemorrhagic gastritis, hemorrhagic erosive gastritis, and GI ulcer).

Drug hypersensitivity reactions were reported in <0.1% of patients receiving PRADAXA.

Other Measures Evaluated
In NVAF patients, a higher rate of clinical MI was reported in patients who received PRADAXA (0.7/100 patient-years for 150 mg dose) than in those who received warfarin (0.6).

Please see accompanying full Prescribing Information, including boxed WARNING and Medication Guide.

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For more than 125 years, Boehringer Ingelheim has been focused on improving the lives of patients. In keeping with the company commitment to do the most good for the most people, Boehringer Ingelheim works hard to ensure its medicines are accessible to everyone who needs them, including senior citizens and families on limited incomes. The Boehringer Ingelheim Cares Foundation Patient Assistance Programs (BI-PAP) make Boehringer Ingelheim medicines available free of charge to patients who are without pharmaceutical insurance coverage, and who meet certain household income levels.

About Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., based in Ridgefield, CT, is the largest U.S. subsidiary of Boehringer Ingelheim Corporation (Ridgefield, CT) and a member of the Boehringer Ingelheim group of companies.

The Boehringer Ingelheim group is one of the world's 20 leading pharmaceutical companies. Headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, it operates globally with 142 affiliates and more than 47,400 employees. Since it was founded in 1885, the family-owned company has been committed to researching, developing, manufacturing and marketing novel medications of high therapeutic value for human and veterinary medicine.

Social responsibility is a central element of Boehringer Ingelheim's culture. Involvement in social projects, caring for employees and their families, and providing equal opportunities for all employees form the foundation of the global operations. Mutual cooperation and respect, as well as environmental protection and sustainability are intrinsic factors in all of Boehringer Ingelheim's endeavors.

In 2013, Boehringer Ingelheim achieved net sales of about $18.7 billion (14.1 billion euro). R&D expenditure in the Prescription Medicines business corresponds to 19.5% of its net sales.

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PRADAXA® is a registered trademark of Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma GmbH and Co. KG and used under license.

* Idarucizumab is the proposed International Nonproprietary Name (pINN).  


SOURCE Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

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