Dosing Regimen Prediction and Confirmation With Rivaroxaban for Thromboprophylaxis in Children After the Fontan Procedure: Insights From the Phase III UNIVERSE Study

J Clin Pharmacol. 2022 Feb;62(2):220-231. doi: 10.1002/jcph.1966. Epub 2022 Jan 9.


Thrombosis remains an important complication for children with single-ventricle physiology following the Fontan procedure, and effective thromboprophylaxis is an important unmet medical need. To obviate conventional dose-finding studies and expedite clinical development, a rivaroxaban dose regimen for this indication was determined using a model-informed drug development approach. A physiologically based pharmacokinetic rivaroxaban model was used to predict a pediatric dosing regimen that would produce drug exposures similar to that of 10 mg once daily in adults. This regimen was used in an open-label, multicenter phase III study, which investigated the use of rivaroxaban for thromboprophylaxis in post-Fontan patients 2 to 8 years of age. The pharmacokinetics (PK) of rivaroxaban was assessed in part A (n = 12) and in part B (n = 64) of the UNIVERSE study. The safety and efficacy in the rivaroxaban group were compared to those in the acetylsalicylic acid group for 12 months. Pharmacodynamic end points were assessed in both parts of the study. Rivaroxaban exposures achieved in parts A and B were similar to the adult reference exposures. Prothrombin time also showed similarity to the adult reference. Exposure-response analysis did not identify a quantitative relationship between rivaroxaban exposures and efficacy/safety outcomes within the observed exposure ranges. A body weight-based dose regimen selected by physiologically based pharmacokinetic modeling was shown in the UNIVERSE study to be appropriate for thromboprophylaxis in the post-Fontan pediatric population. Model-based dose selection can support pediatric drug development and bridge adult dose data to pediatrics, thereby obviating the need for dose-finding studies in pediatric programs.

Keywords: anticoagulants; child; congenital heart disease; pharmacokinetics; thrombosis.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase III
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anticoagulants / administration & dosage*
  • Anticoagulants / pharmacokinetics
  • Anticoagulants / pharmacology*
  • Area Under Curve
  • Body Weights and Measures
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Fontan Procedure / methods
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Models, Biological
  • Partial Thromboplastin Time
  • Prospective Studies
  • Prothrombin Time
  • Rivaroxaban / administration & dosage*
  • Rivaroxaban / pharmacokinetics
  • Rivaroxaban / pharmacology*
  • Thrombosis / prevention & control*


  • Anticoagulants
  • Rivaroxaban