2014 Volume 8 Issue 1 Pages 1-10
Heparin, one of the common anticoagulants, is clinically used to prevent and treat venous thromboembolism (VTE). Though it has been the drug of choice for many advanced medical and surgical procedures with a long history, the adverse events, such as bleeding, heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT), allergic reactions, follow. Therefore, low molecular weight heparins (LMWHs) and ultra low molecular weight heparins (ULMWHs), with lower molecular weights, higher anti-FXa activity, longer half-life times and lower incidence of adverse events than unfractionated heparin (UFH), were researched and developed. Fondaparinux, a chemically synthesized ULMWH of pentasaccharide, has the same antithrombin III (AT-III)-binding sequence as found in UFH and LMWH. In addition, AVE5026 and RO-14, another two ULMWHs, are obtained by selective chemical depolymerization. In this paper, we review the preparation process, pharmacological effects and clinical applications of fondaparinux, AVE5026 and RO-14.