Background: The immunogenicity and safety of recombinant human thrombin (rThrombin) were evaluated in this phase 3b, open-label, single-group, multisite study of 209 adult vascular and spinal operation patients at high risk for preexisting anti-bovine thrombin product antibodies. Study Design: Patients received rThrombin applied as a topical hemostat during a surgical procedure (day 1). Immunogenicity samples were collected at baseline and approximately 1 month after operation (day 29) and were analyzed after study participation. Results: Mean patient age was 61.5 years; median number of previous surgical procedures was 5.0 (range, 1 to 25). Operation types included spinal (n = 89 of 209 [43%]), arterial reconstruction (including peripheral arterial bypass; n = 75 of 209 [36%]), and arteriovenous vascular access procedures (n = 45 of 209 [22%]). All patients had confirmed or highly likely previous bovine thrombin exposure; at baseline, 15.6% of patients (n = 32 of 205) had preexisting anti-bovine thrombin antibodies. Of 200 patients with complete immunogenicity evaluations, 31 had preexisting anti-bovine thrombin antibodies (15.5%), and 4 had preexisting anti-rThrombin product antibodies (2.0%). None of the 200 patients became antibody positive for rThrombin antibodies on day 29 (seroconversion or ≥ 10-fold increase in titer). Adverse events and laboratory results were consistent with a surgical population with substantial comorbidities. Patients with preexisting antibodies to bovine thrombin were older (p = 0.04) and had undergone more surgical procedures previously (p < 0.001) than patients without preexisting antibodies. Conclusions: Results of this study confirm the low immunogenicity of rThrombin and suggest that rThrombin can be used safely as an aid to hemostasis in patients with or without preexisting anti-bovine thrombin antibodies. A sizeable proportion of this vascular and spinal operation patient population (15.6%) had preexisting anti-bovine thrombin antibodies; these patients are at risk for immune responses after reexposure to bovine thrombin.
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