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A Novel Blood-Sparing Agent in Cardiac Surgery? First In-Patient Experience with the Synthetic Serine Protease Inhibitor MDCO-2010: A Phase II, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study in Patients Undergoing Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting with Cardiopulmonary Bypass

Englberger, Lars MD*; Dietrich, Wulf MD, PhD; Eberle, Balthasar MD; Erdoes, Gabor MD; Keller, Dorothee*; Carrel, Thierry MD*

doi: 10.1213/ANE.0000000000000218
Cardiovascular Anesthesiology: Research Report

BACKGROUND: Antifibrinolytics have been used for 2 decades to reduce bleeding in cardiac surgery. MDCO-2010 is a novel, synthetic, serine protease inhibitor. We describe the first experience with this drug in patients.

METHODS: In this phase II, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 32 patients undergoing isolated primary coronary artery bypass grafting with cardiopulmonary bypass were randomly assigned to 1 of 5 increasing dosage groups of MDCO-2010. The primary aim was to evaluate pharmacokinetics (PK) with assessment of plasmatic concentrations of the drug, short-term safety, and tolerance of MDCO-2010. Secondary end points were influence on coagulation, chest tube drainage, and transfusion requirements.

RESULTS: PK analysis showed linear dosage-proportional correlation between MDCO-2010 infusion rate and PK parameters. Blood loss was significantly reduced in the 3 highest dosage groups compared with control (P = 0.002, 0.004 and 0.011, respectively). The incidence of allogeneic blood product transfusions was lower with MDCO-2010 4/24 (17%) vs 4/8 (50%) in the control group. MDCO-2010 exhibited dosage-dependent antifibrinolytic effects through suppression of D-dimer generation and inhibition of tissue plasminogen activator-induced lysis in ROTEM analysis as well as anticoagulant effects demonstrated by prolongation of activated clotting time and activated partial thromboplastin time. No systematic differences in markers of end organ function were observed among treatment groups. Three patients in the MDCO-2010 groups experienced serious adverse events. One patient experienced intraoperative thrombosis of venous grafts considered possibly related to the study drug. No reexploration for mediastinal bleeding was required, and there were no deaths.

CONCLUSIONS: This first-in-patient study demonstrated dosage-proportional PK for MDCO-2010 and reduction of chest tube drainage and transfusions in patients undergoing primary coronary artery bypass grafting. Antifibrinolytic and anticoagulant effects were demonstrated using various markers of coagulation. MDCO-2010 was well tolerated and showed an acceptable initial safety profile. Larger multi-institutional studies are warranted to further investigate the safety and efficacy of this compound.

Published ahead of print April 10, 2014

From the *Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, University Hospital Berne, Berne, Switzerland; Department of Anesthesiology, Working Group of Perioperative Hemostasis, University of Munich, Munich, Germany; and Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Therapy, University Hospital Berne, Berne, Switzerland.

Accepted for publication February 3, 2014.

Published ahead of print April 10, 2014

Funding: The study was sponsored by The Medicines Company, Parsippany, New Jersey.

Conflicts of Interest: See Disclosures at the end of the article.

This report was previously presented, in part, at the Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists (SCA) and European Association of Cardiothoracic Anesthesiologists (EACTA) meeting 2012.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Lars Englberger, MD, Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, University Hospital Berne, Freiburgstrasse, CH-3010 Berne, Switzerland. Address e-mail to

© 2014 International Anesthesia Research Society