In-vitro profile and ex-vivo anticoagulant activity of the direct thrombin inhibitor dabigatran and its orally active prodrug, dabigatran etexilate

Thromb Haemost. 2007 Jul;98(1):155-62.


Dabigatran is a reversible and selective, direct thrombin inhibitor (DTI) undergoing advanced clinical development as its orally active prodrug, dabigatran etexilate. This study set out to determine the molecular potency and anticoagulant efficacy of dabigatran and its prodrug dabigatran etexilate. This was achieved through enzyme inhibition and selectivity analyses, surface plasmon resonance studies, platelet aggregation, thrombin generation and clotting assays in vitro and ex vivo. These studies demonstrated that dabigatran selectively and reversibly inhibited human thrombin (Ki: 4.5 nM) as well as thrombin-induced platelet aggregation (IC(50): 10 nM), while showing no inhibitory effect on other platelet-stimulating agents. Thrombin generation in platelet-poor plasma (PPP), measured as the endogenous thrombin potential (ETP) was inhibited concentration-dependently (IC(50): 0.56 microM). Dabigatran demonstrated concentration-dependent anticoagulant effects in various species in vitro, doubling the activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT), prothrombin time (PT) and ecarin clotting time (ECT) in human PPP at concentrations of 0.23, 0.83 and 0.18 microM, respectively. In vivo, dabigatran prolonged the aPTT dose-dependently after intravenous administration in rats (0.3, 1 and 3 mg/kg) and rhesus monkeys (0.15, 0.3 and 0.6 mg/kg). Dose- and time-dependent anticoagulant effects were observed with dabigatran etexilate administered orally to conscious rats (10, 20 and 50 mg/kg) or rhesus monkeys (1, 2.5 or 5 mg/kg), with maximum effects observed between 30 and 120 min after administration, respectively. These data suggest that dabigatran is a potent, selective thrombin inhibitor and an orally active anticoagulant as the prodrug, dabigatran etexilate.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Anticoagulants / administration & dosage
  • Anticoagulants / pharmacology
  • Benzimidazoles / administration & dosage
  • Benzimidazoles / pharmacology*
  • Blood Coagulation / drug effects
  • Blood Coagulation Tests
  • Dabigatran
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Hemostasis / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Pharmacokinetics
  • Platelet Aggregation / drug effects
  • Prodrugs / administration & dosage
  • Prodrugs / pharmacology
  • Pyridines / administration & dosage
  • Pyridines / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Thrombin / antagonists & inhibitors*


  • Anticoagulants
  • Benzimidazoles
  • Prodrugs
  • Pyridines
  • Thrombin
  • Dabigatran