Daiichi Sankyo has a long experience with blood coagulation. In 1952, Shosuke Okamoto, a scientist at Kobe University, discovered the first anti-plasmin agent called epsilon-aminocaproic acid. It was further developed by Daiichi, has been marketed since 1962 and was the world’s first anti-plasmin medicine. Plasmins are enzymes that play a key role in blood thinning. Therefore, the anti-plasmin is used to foster blood coagulation when patients suffer severe bleeding.
The development of Ipsilon® was only one of the first steps in the company’s extensive research activities in the field of haemostasis. Daiichi later found some factor Xa inhibitor candidates that prevent blood clotting. These extensive research experience has led to the development of edoxaban, an oral factor Xa inhibitor that is currently available only in Japan for the prevention venous thromboembolism in patients under going orthopaedic surgery. At a global level edoxaban is beeing tested in two phase III trials. ENGAGE AF-TIMI 48 for the treatment of stroke prevention and systemic embolic events in patients with atrial fibrillation and HOKUSAI VTE for the treatment and prevention of recurrent venous thromboembolism.