Ticagrelor (AZD6140), the first reversibly binding oral P2Y(12) receptor antagonist, blocks adenosine diphosphate (ADP)-induced platelet aggregation via a mode of action distinct from that of thienopyridine antiplatelet agents. The latter must be metabolically activated and binds irreversibly to P2Y(12) for the life of the platelet, precluding restoration of hemostatic function without the generation of new platelets. In in vitro studies comparing binding characteristics of ticagrelor and compound 105, a chemical compound indistinguishable from the active metabolite of prasugrel, ticagrelor exhibited 1) an approximately 100-fold higher affinity for P2Y(12) and rapid achievement of equilibrium (vs no equilibrium reached with compound 105) as assessed by radioligand displacement in a receptor filtration binding assay, 2) 48-fold greater potency in a functional receptor assay using recombinant human P2Y(12), and 3) 63-fold greater potency in inhibiting ADP-induced aggregation in washed human platelets. In rat and dog models of thrombosis/hemostasis, there was greater separation between doses that provided antithrombotic effect and those that increased bleeding for ticagrelor compared with clopidogrel and compound 072, a chemical compound indistinguishable from the prasugrel parent compound. The ratio of dose resulting in 3-fold increase in bleeding time to dose resulting in 50% restoration of blood flow in rats was 9.7 for ticagrelor compared with 2.0 for clopidogrel and 1.4 for compound 072. Similar results were observed in dogs. Our findings suggest that reversibility of P2Y(12) binding with ticagrelor may account for the greater separation between antithrombotic effects and increased bleeding compared with the irreversible binding of clopidogrel and prasugrel.