Abelacimab for Prevention of Venous Thromboembolism

N Engl J Med. 2021 Aug 12;385(7):609-617. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa2105872. Epub 2021 Jul 19.


Background: The role of factor XI in the pathogenesis of postoperative venous thromboembolism is uncertain. Abelacimab is a monoclonal antibody that binds to factor XI and locks it in the zymogen (inactive precursor) conformation.

Methods: In this open-label, parallel-group trial, we randomly assigned 412 patients who were undergoing total knee arthroplasty to receive one of three regimens of abelacimab (30 mg, 75 mg, or 150 mg) administered postoperatively in a single intravenous dose or to receive 40 mg of enoxaparin administered subcutaneously once daily. The primary efficacy outcome was venous thromboembolism, detected by mandatory venography of the leg involved in the operation or objective confirmation of symptomatic events. The principal safety outcome was a composite of major or clinically relevant nonmajor bleeding up to 30 days after surgery.

Results: Venous thromboembolism occurred in 13 of 102 patients (13%) in the 30-mg abelacimab group, 5 of 99 patients (5%) in the 75-mg abelacimab group, and 4 of 98 patients (4%) in the 150-mg abelacimab group, as compared with 22 of 101 patients (22%) in the enoxaparin group. The 30-mg abelacimab regimen was noninferior to enoxaparin, and the 75-mg and 150-mg abelacimab regimens were superior to enoxaparin (P<0.001). Bleeding occurred in 2%, 2%, and none of the patients in the 30-mg, 75-mg, and 150-mg abelacimab groups, respectively, and in none of the patients in the enoxaparin group.

Conclusions: This trial showed that factor XI is important for the development of postoperative venous thromboembolism. Factor XI inhibition with a single intravenous dose of abelacimab after total knee arthroplasty was effective for the prevention of venous thromboembolism and was associated with a low risk of bleeding. (Funded by Anthos Therapeutics; ANT-005 TKA EudraCT number, 2019-003756-37.).

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized / administration & dosage
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized / adverse effects
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized / therapeutic use*
  • Anticoagulants / administration & dosage
  • Anticoagulants / adverse effects
  • Anticoagulants / therapeutic use*
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Enoxaparin / adverse effects
  • Enoxaparin / therapeutic use*
  • Factor XI / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Factor XI / metabolism
  • Female
  • Hemorrhage / chemically induced
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Injections, Subcutaneous
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Partial Thromboplastin Time
  • Postoperative Complications / prevention & control*
  • Venous Thromboembolism / prevention & control*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Anticoagulants
  • Enoxaparin
  • Factor XI
  • abelacimab

Associated data

  • EudraCT/2019-003756-37