Bivalirudin (Page 3 of 4)

8.6 Renal Impairment

The disposition of bivalirudin was studied in PTCA patients with mild, moderate and severe renal impairment. The clearance of bivalirudin was reduced approximately 21% in patients with moderate and severe renal impairment and was reduced approximately 70% in dialysis-dependent patients [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)]. Reduce the infusion dose of bivalirudin and monitor the anticoagulant status more frequently in patients with renal impairment creatinine clearance less than 30mL/min (by Cockcroft Gault equation) [see Dosage and Administration (2.2)].


Cases of overdose of up to 10 times the recommended bolus or continuous infusion dose of bivalirudin have been reported in clinical trials and in postmarketing reports. A number of the reported overdoses were due to failure to adjust the infusion dose of bivalirudin in persons with renal dysfunction including persons on hemodialysis [see Dosage and Administration (2.2)]. Bleeding, as well as deaths due to hemorrhage, have been observed in some reports of overdose. In cases of suspected overdosage, discontinue bivalirudin immediately and monitor the patient closely for signs of bleeding. There is no known antidote to bivalirudin. Bivalirudin is hemodialyzable [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].


Bivalirudin for injection contains bivalirudin, which is a specific and reversible direct thrombin inhibitor. Bivalirudin is a synthetic, 20 amino acid peptide, with the chemical name of D-phenylalanyl-L-prolyl-L-arginyl-L-prolyl-glycyl-glycyl-glycyl-glycyl-L-asparagyl-glycyl-L-aspartyl-L-phenylalanyl-L-glutamyl-L-glutamyl-L-isoleucyl-L-prolyl-L-glutamyl-L-glutamyl-L-tyrosyl-L-leucine. The active pharmaceutical ingredient is in the form of bivalirudin trifluoroacetate as a white to off-white powder. The chemical name for bivalirudin trifluoroacetate is D-phenylalanyl-L-prolyl-L-arginyl-L-prolyl-glycyl-glycyl-glycyl-glycyl-L-asparagyl-glycyl-L-aspartyl-L-phenylalanyl-L-glutamyl-L-glutamyl-L-isoleucyl-L-prolyl-L-glutamyl-L-glutamyl-L-tyrosyl-L-leucine trifluoroacetate (Figure 1). The molecular weight of bivalirudin is 2180 daltons (anhydrous free base peptide).

Figure 1: Structure Formula for Bivalirudin Trifluoroacetate

structural formula
(click image for full-size original)

Bivalirudin for injection is supplied as a sterile white lyophilized cake, in single-dose vials. Each vial contains 250 mg bivalirudin, equivalent to an average of 275 mg of bivalirudin trifluoroacetate*, 125 mg mannitol, and sodium hydroxide to adjust the pH to 5-6 (equivalent of approximately 12.5 mg sodium). When reconstituted with Sterile Water for Injection, the product yields a clear to opalescent, colorless to slightly yellow solution, pH 5-6.

*The range of bivalirudin trifluoroacetate is 270 mg to 280 mg based on a range of trifluoroacetic acid composition of 1.7 to 2.6 equivalents.


12.1 Mechanism of Action

Bivalirudin directly inhibits thrombin by specifically binding both to the catalytic site and to the anion-binding exosite of circulating and clot-bound thrombin. Thrombin is a serine proteinase that plays a central role in the thrombotic process, acting to cleave fibrinogen into fibrin monomers and to activate Factor XIII to Factor XIIIa, allowing fibrin to develop a covalently cross-linked framework, which stabilizes the thrombus; thrombin also activates Factors V and VIII, promoting further thrombin generation, and activates platelets, stimulating aggregation and granule release. The binding of bivalirudin to thrombin is reversible as thrombin slowly cleaves the bivalirudin-Arg3 -Pro4 bond, resulting in recovery of thrombin active site functions.

In in vitro studies, bivalirudin inhibited both soluble (free) and clot-bound thrombin, was not neutralized by products of the platelet release reaction, and prolonged the activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT), thrombin time (TT), and prothrombin time (PT) of normal human plasma in a concentration-dependent manner. The clinical relevance of these findings is unknown.

12.2 Pharmacodynamics

In healthy volunteers and patients (with ≥70% vessel occlusion undergoing routine PTCA), bivalirudin exhibited dose- and concentration-dependent anticoagulant activity as evidenced by prolongation of the ACT, aPTT, PT, and TT. Intravenous administration of bivalirudin produces an immediate anticoagulant effect. Coagulation times return to baseline approximately 1 hour following cessation of bivalirudin administration. Bivalirudin also increases INR. Therefore, INR measurements made in bivalirudin treated patients may not be useful for determining the appropriate dose of warfarin.

In 291 patients with ≥70% vessel occlusion undergoing routine PTCA, a positive correlation was observed between the dose of bivalirudin and the proportion of patients achieving ACT values of 300 sec or 350 sec. At a bivalirudin dose of 1 mg/kg IV bolus plus 2.5 mg/kg/h IV infusion for 4 hours, followed by 0.2 mg/kg/h, all patients reached maximal ACT values greater than 300 sec.

12.3 Pharmacokinetics

Bivalirudin exhibits linear pharmacokinetics following IV administration to patients undergoing PTCA. In these patients, a mean steady state bivalirudin concentration of 12.3 ± 1.7 mcg/mL is achieved following an IV bolus of 1 mg/kg and a 4-hour 2.5 mg/kg/h IV infusion.


Bivalirudin does not bind to plasma proteins (other than thrombin) or to red blood cells.


Bivalirudin has a half-life of 25 minutes in PTCA patients with normal renal function. The total body clearance of bivalirudin in PTCA patients with normal renal function is 3.4 mL/min/kg.


Bivalirudin is metabolized by proteolytic cleavage.


Bivalirudin undergoes glomerular filtration. Tubular secretion and tubular reabsorption are also implicated in the excretion of bivalirudin, although the extent is unknown.

Specific Populations

Patients with Renal Impairment

Total body clearance was similar for PTCA patients with normal renal function and with mild renal impairment. Clearance was reduced by 21% in patients with moderate and severe renal impairment with a half-life of 34 and 57 minutes, respectively. In dialysis patients, clearance was reduced by 70%, with a half-life of 3.5 hours. Approximately 25% bivalirudin is cleared by hemodialysis.


13.1 Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility

No long-term studies in animals have been performed to evaluate the carcinogenic potential of bivalirudin. Bivalirudin displayed no genotoxic potential in the in vitro bacterial cell reverse mutation assay (Ames test), the in vitro Chinese hamster ovary cell forward gene mutation test (CHO/HGPRT), the in vitro human lymphocyte chromosomal aberration assay, the in vitro rat hepatocyte unscheduled DNA synthesis (UDS) assay, and the in vivo rat micronucleus assay. Fertility and general reproductive performance in rats were unaffected by subcutaneous doses of bivalirudin up to 150 mg/kg/day, about 1.6 times the dose on a body surface area basis (mg/m2) of a 50 kg person given the maximum recommended dose of 15 mg/kg/day.


Bivalirudin Angioplasty Trial (BAT)

In the BAT studies, patients with unstable angina undergoing PCI were randomized 1:1 to a 1 mg/kg bolus of bivalirudin and then 2.5 mg/kg/h for four hours and then 0.2 mg/kg/h for 14 to 20 hours or to 175 IU/kg bolus of heparin followed by an 18 to 24 hour infusion of 15 IU/kg/h infusion. Additional heparin but not bivalirudin could be administered for ACT less than 350 seconds. The studies were designed to demonstrate the superiority of bivalirudin to heparin on the occurrence of any of the following during hospitalization up to seven days of death, MI, abrupt closure of dilated vessel, or clinical deterioration requiring revascularization or placement of an aortic balloon pump.

The 4312 subjects ranged in age from 29 to 90 (median 63) years. 68% were male, and 91% were Caucasian. Median weight was 80 kg (39 to 120 kg). 741 (17%) subjects had post-MI angina. Twenty-three percent of patients were treated with heparin within one hour prior to randomization.

The studies did not demonstrate that bivalirudin was statistically superior to heparin for reducing the risk of death, MI, abrupt closure of the dilated vessel, or clinical deterioration requiring revascularization or placement of an aortic balloon pump, but the occurrence of these events was similar in both treatment groups. Study outcomes are shown in Table 3.

Table 3: Incidences of In-hospital Endpoints in BAT Trial
Endpoint Bivalirudin
A composite of death or MI or clinical deterioration of cardiac origin requiring revascularization or placement of an aortic balloon pump or angiographic evidence of abrupt vessel closure.

Primary Endpoint *



Death, MI, revascularization









AT-BAT Trial (NCT# 00043940)

This was a single-arm open-label study in which 51 patients with heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) or heparin induced thrombocytopenia and thrombosis syndrome (HITTS) underwent PCI. The majority of patients achieved adequate ACT at the time of device activation and no major bleeding was reported. Evidence for the diagnosis of HIT/HITTS was based on a clinical history of a decrease of platelets in patients after heparin administration [new diagnosis or history of clinically suspected or objectively documented HIT/HITTS defined as either: 1) HIT: positive heparin-induced platelet aggregation (HIPA) or other functional assay where the platelet count has decreased to less than 100,000/mL (minimum 30% from prior to heparin), or has decreased to less than 150,000/mL (minimum 40% from prior to heparin), or has decreased as above within hours of receiving heparin in a patient with a recent, previous exposure to heparin; 2) HITTS: thrombocytopenia as above plus arterial or venous thrombosis diagnosed by physician examination/laboratory and/or appropriate imaging studies]. Patients ranged in age from 48 to 89 years (median 70); weight ranged from 42 to 123 kg (median 76); 50% were male and 50% were female. Bivalirudin was administered as either 1 mg/kg bolus followed by 2.5 mg/kg/h (high dose in 28 patients) or 0.75 mg/kg bolus followed by a 1.75 mg/kg/h infusion (lower dose in 25 patients) for up to 4 hours. Ninety-eight percent of patients received aspirin, 86% received clopidogrel and 19% received GPIs.

The median ACT values at the time of device activation were 379 sec (high dose) and 317 sec (lower dose). Following the procedure, 48 of the 51 patients (94%) had TIMI grade 3 flow and stenosis less than 50%. One patient died during a bradycardic episode 46 hours after successful PCI, another patient required surgical revascularization, and one patient experienced no flow requiring a temporary intra-aortic balloon.

Two of the fifty-one patients with the diagnosis of HIT/HITTS developed thrombocytopenia after receiving bivalirudin and GPIs.

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