Thrombosis research

A common standard is inappropriate for determining the potency of ultra low molecular weight heparins such as semuloparin and bemiparin.

PMID 21458847


Lower low-molecular-weight heparins are being developed to improve on the safety and efficacy of antithrombotic therapy. Semuloparin and bemiparin are two depolymerized heparins produced by distinct manufacturing processes. The objective of this investigation was to determine whether a common standard could be used to define their potency. Activities were compared using typical clinical coagulation assays and pharmacological assays required for potency assessment. The activity of semuloparin and bemiparin was comparable in FXa-based assays (anti-FXa, Heptest). However, bemiparin produced a stronger effect in the aPTT, ACT and anti-thrombin assays. Assessment of the parallelism of the concentration-response curves indicated that bemiparin and semuloparin are not equivalent in terms of anti-FIIa activity. Bemiparin had a stronger inhibitory effect on thrombin induced platelet aggregation, and a stronger interaction with HIT antibodies. These data demonstrate that depolymerized heparins can exhibit a range of biologic activities making them unique agents. Pharmacopoeial parameters such as anti-IIa and anti-Xa potency and molecular weight are insufficient to characterize such agents.