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, Heribert Schunkert, MD, 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 TiCAB (Study Comparing Ticagrelor With Aspirin for Prevention of Vascular Events in Patients Undergoing CABG) trial randomized 1,893 patients during 2013-2017 who underwent CABG at any of 26 centers in Austria, Germany, or Switzerland. Eligible patients underwent surgery for three-vessel disease, left main disease, or had two-vessel disease plus a left ventricular ejection fraction of less than 50%. About 31% of patients had unstable angina or non-ST elevation MI, with the remaining 69% having stable angina. The study included 931 patients who received 90 mg oral ticagrelor (Brilinta) b.i.d. plus aspirin placebo, and 928 who received 100 mg aspirin once daily plus ticagrelor placebo. The study medications began prior to surgery.
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 criteria, 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 19561.