Background: The global ROCKET AF study evaluated once-daily rivaroxaban vs. warfarin for stroke and systemic embolism prevention in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). A separate trial, J-ROCKET AF, compared the safety of a Japan-specific rivaroxaban dose with warfarin administered according to Japanese guidelines in Japanese patients with AF.
Methods and results: J-ROCKET AF was a prospective, randomized, double-blind, phase III trial. Patients (n=1,280) with non-valvular AF at increased risk for stroke were randomized to receive 15 mg once-daily rivaroxaban or warfarin dose-adjusted according to Japanese guidelines. The primary objective was to determine non-inferiority of rivaroxaban against warfarin for the principal safety outcome of major and non-major clinically relevant bleeding, in the on-treatment safety population. The primary efficacy endpoint was the composite of stroke and systemic embolism. Non-inferiority of rivaroxaban to warfarin was confirmed; the rate of the principal safety outcome was 18.04% per year in rivaroxaban-treated patients and 16.42% per year in warfarin-treated patients (hazard ratio [HR] 1.11; 95% confidence interval 0.87-1.42; P<0.001 [non-inferiority]). Intracranial hemorrhage rates were 0.8% with rivaroxaban and 1.6% with warfarin. There was a strong trend for a reduction in the rate of stroke/systemic embolism with rivaroxaban vs. warfarin (HR, 0.49; P=0.050).
Conclusions: J-ROCKET AF demonstrated the safety of a Japan-specific rivaroxaban dose and supports bridging the global ROCKET AF results into Japanese clinical practice.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00494871.