Xarelto and Eliquis May Soon Have an AntidoteJanuary 12, 2015 — Reuters reports that Portola Pharmaceuticals, Inc., may have created an antidote to reverse the blood-thinning effects of Xarelto.

The intravenous medication, andexanet alfa, was given breakthrough therapy status by the FDA in 2013. This status can help accelerate the development of new drugs for life-threatening conditions that do not currently have other treatments.

Last week, Portola announced that the Phase III ANNEXA-R study met its primary endpoint of “immediately and significantly” reversing Xarelto in 41 healthy volunteers aged 50-75 years old. In October, the medication was also shown to be effective at reversing Eliquis. More data is expected in mid-2015.

Currently, millions of people are prescribed Xarelto for short-term use or chronic conditions. According to Portola, 1-4% of patients treated with Xarelto experience major bleeding and an additional 1% may require emergency surgery. In these situations, a doctor must quickly de-activate any blood-thinning medication a patient is taking.

In the past, when most patients were using the blood-thinner warfarin, the reversal agent was a simple dose of Vitamin K.

Xarelto is a new type of blood-thinning medication that works by inhibiting the blood clotting enzyme factor Xa. It has no antidote that can reverse its blood-thinning effects. Not even dialysis can remove Xarelto from a patient’s bloodstream because Xarelto binds too tightly with proteins in blood plasma.

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