Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer have published results that show their experimental blood thinner apixaban is “statistically superior” torival drug Lovenox (enoxaparin) by Sanofi-Aventis.

The results from the ADVANCE-3 study are published in TheNew England Journal of Medicine evaluating the efficacy ad safety of oral,twice daily apixaban 2.5mg compared with subcutaneous enoxaparin 40mg oncedaily, over a 35-day treatment period for reducing the risk of venousthromboembolism in patients undergoing elective total hip replacement surgery.

When apixaban was compared with enoxaparin, 1.4% of patientsin the apixaban group experienced deep vein thrombosis, nonfatal pulmonaryembolism or death from any cause, compared to 3.9% of patients in theenoxaparin group, demonstrating a statistically significant relative riskreduction for apixaban of 64%.

The study results also showed comparable rates of thecomposite of major and clinically relevant non-major bleeding in patientstreated with apixaban compared with those treated with enoxaparin.

The results follow the ADVANCE-2 trial, which suggestedapixaban was also superior to Lovenox at preventing VTE in patients undergoingelective knee surgery, the results of which were published in March this year.

Apixaban is an investigational, oral, highly selectiveFactor Xa inhibitor, part of a class of agents being studied for theirpotential to prevent and treat blood clots in the veins and arteries. Thisclass would provide an alternative to the more than 50-year-old anticoagulantwarfarin.