Emicizumab is a bi-specific humanized monoclonal antibody mimicking the factor (F) VIII cofactor activity in mediating the activation of FX by FIXa. Recent observations showed that emicizumab when added to pooled normal plasma (PNP), hemophilic plasma or PNP added with unfractionated heparin is able to interfere with coagulation assays. To further explore the mechanisms of assay interference we investigated the effect of emicizumab on global coagulation assays for the PNP added with two direct oral anticoagulants, apixaban or argatroban. Aliquots of PNP were added with purified apixaban or argatroban at a concentration of 500 ng/mL and emicizumab at concentrations ranging from 0 to 100 µg/mL. Plasma samples were then tested for the activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT) and for thrombin generation (the latter for the apixaban plasma only). Emicizumab at a 25-50 µg/mL shortened the APTT of the PNP with or without apixaban or argatroban. The extent of correction was greater for the apixaban or argatroban plasma and amounted to 35% or 42%, respectively. The parameters of thrombin generation (lag-time and time-to-peak) for the PNP supplemented with apixaban were shortened by 30% or 25%, respectively and the endogenous thrombin potential and the peak-thrombin were marginally affected. Emicizumab attenuates in vitro the anticoagulant activity of the PNP induced by apixaban or argatroban as documented by the correction of prolonged APTT and velocity of thrombin generation (i.e., lag-time and time-to-peak). Whether the above effects have any relevance in vivo is unknown.
Keywords: Activated partial thromboplastin time; Direct oral anticoagulants; Factor VIII; Hemophilia; Thrombin generation.