No good current options for reversal
Evidence of efficacy and safety is encouraging, because current options for urgently reversing ticagrelor are “disappointing,” according to the invited discussant Gilles Montalescot, MD, PhD, professor of cardiology, Pitié-Salpêtrière Hôpital, Paris.
“Platelet transfusion has some value for clopidogrel and prasugrel, but it does not work for ticagrelor,” said Dr. Montalescot, referring to two other P2Y12 inhibitors. Substantiating the need for a reversal agent, he identified several other strategies that have proven ineffective, such as desmopressin and sorbent hemadsorption.
Overall, Dr. Montalescot acknowledged the need for a highly effective ticagrelor reversal agent, but he did have some criticisms of REVERSE-IT. For one, he was not convinced about the design.
“What was unethical in having a control group?” he asked, suggesting that it was feasible and would have addressed issues of relative efficacy and safety.
For example, the authors concluded that none of the thrombotic events were likely to be treatment related, but “four events occurred immediately after reversal without an alternate explanation,” Dr. Montalescot pointed out. “Was this a signal or background noise?”
Nevertheless, he agreed that the interim phase 3 data are consistent with the previously reported phase 2 studies, and he reiterated that a strategy to reverse ticagrelor’s effects is an important unmet need.
Dr. Bhatt has a financial relationship with a large number of pharmaceutical companies, including PhaseBio, which provided funding for the REVERSE-IT trial. Dr. Montalescot reported financial relationships with Amgen, AstraZeneca, Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Boston Scientific, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Cell-Prothera, CSL-Behring, Europa, Idorsia, Servicer, Medtronic, Merck Sharpe & Dohme, Novartis, Pfizer, Quantum Genomics, and Sanofi-Aventis.