Stéphanie DemoulinA, Godfroid EdmondA, Cédric HermansB
- A Bioxodes S.A., Marche-en-Famenne, Belgium
- B Division of Hematology, Hemostasis and Thrombosis Unit, Saint-Luc University Hospital, Université Catholique de Louvain (UCLouvain), Brussels, Belgium
Clinical practice shows that a critical unmet need in the field of medical device‐associated thrombosis prevention is the availability of an anticoagulant therapy without hemorrhagic risk. In the quest for new drugs that are at least as effective as those currently available, while avoiding bleeding complications, molecules that target nearly every step of the coagulation pathway have been developed. Among these molecules, inhibitors of factor XII (FXII) or factor XI (FXI) are promising alternatives as deficiencies in these factors protect against thrombosis without causing spontaneous hemorrhage, as revealed by epidemiological and preclinical data. Ixodes ricinus‐contact phase inhibitor (Ir‐CPI), a new anticoagulant candidate with an innovative mechanism of action could be this ideal anticoagulant agent for safe prevention from clotting on medical devices. This protein, which selectively binds to FXIIa, FXIa, and plasma kallikrein and inhibits the reciprocal activation of FXII, prekallikrein, and FXI in human plasma, was shown to prevent thrombosis in an ovine cardiopulmonary bypass system associated with cardiac surgeries. Furthermore, as opposed to unfractionated heparin, Ir‐CPI appears to be devoid of bleeding risk. This review outlines the rationale for targeting upstream coagulation factors in order to prevent medical device‐associated thrombosis; examines the novel approaches under development; and focuses on Ir‐CPI, which shows promising properties in the field of thrombosis prevention.