CHICAGO – Ticagrelor performed about as well as aspirin did as monotherapy for preventing coronary bypass graft failure during the year following surgery in a randomized, multicenter trial with almost 1,900 patients.
Ticagrelor monotherapy also produced about the same number of major bleeding events as did aspirin monotherapy,, said at the American Heart Association scientific sessions. There were two limitations of the trial: The incidence of cardiovascular disease events that served as the efficacy endpoint for the study was less than what Dr. Schunkert and his associates expected, and they enrolled about half the projected number of patients because the study lost industry support and then, a couple of years later, showed a relentlessly neutral result leading to early termination of recruitment, said Dr. Schunkert, professor of cardiology and medical director of the German Heart Center in Munich.
The study’s primary efficacy endpoint was the combined rate of cardiovascular death, MI, stroke, or need for revascularization by 1 year after surgery. This occurred in 9.7% of the ticagrelor patients and in 8.2% of those who received aspirin, a difference that was not statistically significant. Several secondary efficacy endpoints examined also showed a neutral result. The primary safety measure was the incidence of major bleeds by the Bleeding Academic Research Consortium, which occurred in 3.7% of the ticagrelor patients and 3.2% of those on aspirin, not a statistically significant difference. After the year of follow-up about 85% of patients in both treatment arms remained on their assigned regimen, Dr. Schunkert said.
TiCAB received funding from AstraZeneca, which markets ticagrelor (Brilinta). Dr. Schunkert has received honoraria and research support from, and has been a speaker on behalf of, AstraZeneca. He has also received honoraria from Amgen, Bayer Vital, Boehringer Ingelheim, Daiichi Sankyo, Merck Sharp & Dohme, Novartis, Pfizer, Sanofi, and Servier.
SOURCE: Schunkert H et al. AHA 2018, Abstract .