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Emicizumab, a bispecific antibody recognizing coagulation factors IX and X: how does it actually compare to factor VIII?

Peter J. Lenting, Cécile V. Denis and Olivier D. Christophe

Abstract

During the last decade, the development of improved and novel approaches for the treatment of hemophilia A has expanded tremendously. These approaches include factor VIII (FVIII) with extended half-life (eg, FVIII-Fc and PEGylated FVIII), monoclonal antibodies targeting tissue factor pathway inhibitor, small interfering RNA to reduce antithrombin expression and the bispecific antibody ACE910/emicizumab. Emicizumab is a bispecific antibody recognizing both the enzyme factor IXa and the substrate factor X. By simultaneously binding enzyme and substrate, emicizumab mimics some part of the function exerted by the original cofactor, FVIII, in that it promotes colocalization of the enzyme–substrate complex. However, FVIII and the bispecific antibody are fundamentally different proteins and subject to different modes of regulation. Here, we will provide an overview of the similarities and dissimilarities between FVIII and emicizumab from a biochemical and mechanistical perspective. Such insight might be useful in the clinical decision making for those who apply emicizumab in their practice now or in the future, particularly in view of the thrombotic complications that have been reported when emicizumab is used in combination with FVIII-bypassing agents.

  • Submitted August 18, 2017.
  • Accepted October 13, 2017.
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