Tafoxiparin, a novel drug candidate for cervical ripening and labor augmentation: results from 2 randomized, placebo-controlled studies

Gunvor Ekman-Ordeberg*, Margareta Hellgren-Wångdahl, Annika Jeppson, Leena Rahkonen, Marie Blomberg, Karin Pettersson, Carina Bejlum, Malin Engberg, Mette Ludvigsen, Jukka Uotila, Kati Tihtonen, Gunilla Hallberg, Maria Jonsson

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde
1 Citationer (Scopus)


Background: Slow progression of labor is a common obstetrical problem with multiple associated complications. Tafoxiparin is a depolymerized form of heparin with a molecular structure that eliminates the anticoagulant effects of heparin. We report on 2 phase II clinical studies of tafoxiparin in primiparas. Study 1 was an exploratory, first-in-pregnant-women study and study 2 was a dose-finding study. Objective: Study 1 was performed to explore the effects on labor time of subcutaneous administration of tafoxiparin before onset of labor. Study 2 was performed to test the hypothesis that intravenous treatment with tafoxiparin reduces the risk for prolonged labor after spontaneous labor onset in situations requiring oxytocin stimulation because of dystocia. Study Design: Both studies were randomized, double-blind, and placebo-controlled. Participants were healthy, nulliparous females aged 18 to 45 years with a normal singleton pregnancy and gestational age confirmed by ultrasound. The primary endpoints were time from onset of established labor (cervical dilation of 4 cm) until delivery (study 1) and time from start of study treatment infusion until delivery (study 2). In study 1, patients at 38 to 40 weeks of gestation received 60 mg tafoxiparin or placebo daily as 0.4 mL subcutaneous injections until labor onset (maximum 28 days). In study 2, patients experiencing slow progression of labor, a prolonged latent phase, or labor arrest received a placebo or 1 of 3 short-term tafoxiparin regimens (initial bolus 7, 21, or 35 mg followed by continuous infusion at 5, 15, or 25 mg/hour until delivery; maximum duration, 36 hours) in conjunction with oxytocin. Results: The number of participants randomized in study 1 was 263, and 361 were randomized in study 2. There were no statistically significant differences in the primary endpoints between those receiving tafoxiparin and those receiving the placebo in both studies. However, in study 1, the risk for having a labor time exceeding 12 hours was significantly reduced by tafoxiparin (tafoxiparin 6/114 [5%] vs placebo 18/101 [18%]; P=.0045). Post hoc analyses showed that women who underwent labor induction had a median (range) labor time of 4.44 (1.2–8.5) hours with tafoxiparin and 7.03 (1.5–14.3) hours with the placebo (P=.0041) and that co-administration of tafoxiparin potentiates the effect of oxytocin and facilitates a shorter labor time among women with a labor time exceeding 6 to 8 hours (P=.016). Among women induced into labor, tafoxiparin had a positive effect on cervical ripening in 11 of 13 cases (85%) compared with 3 of 13 participants (23%) who received the placebo (P=.004). For women requiring oxytocin because of slow progression of labor, the corresponding results were 34 of 51 participants (66%) vs 16 of 40 participants (40%) (P=.004). In study 2, tafoxiparin had no positive effects on the secondary endpoints when compared with the placebo. Except for injection-site reactions in study 1, adverse events were no more common for tafoxiparin than for the placebo among either mothers or infants. There were few serious or treatment-related adverse events. Conclusion: Subcutaneous treatment with tafoxiparin before labor onset (study 1) may be effective in reducing the labor time among women undergoing labor induction and among those requiring oxytocin for slow progression of labor. Moreover, tafoxiparin may have a positive effect on cervical ripening. Short-term, intravenous treatment with tafoxiparin as an adjunct to oxytocin in patients with labor arrest (study 2) did not affect labor time or other endpoints. Both studies suggest that tafoxiparin has a favorable safety profile in mothers and their infants.

TidsskriftAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
StatusUdgivet - 2024


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