In this review, we give an overview over observational and experimental studies supporting factors XI and XII as targets for anticoagulant therapy. The majority of observational studies on FXI report low concentrations of FXI to be protective against ischemic stroke and venous thrombosis. There is also extensive evidence from experimental and animal studies supporting FXI inhibition as a target for anticoagulant therapy, alone or in combination with other antithrombotic treatments. Four Phase 2 clinical trials on patients undergoing total knee arthroplasty showed non-inferiority or superiority of FXI inhibition compared to enoxaparin for the primary outcome, which was incidence of venous thromboembolism. One Phase 2 trial reported that FXI inhibition is associated with fewer bleeding events than apixaban. The results from observational studies on FXII are more conflicting. Some show that low FXII concentrations confer protection against thrombosis, while others have found it to be deleterious. Results from experimental studies are inconclusive, but suggest that FXII inhibition might be useful in preventing thrombosis caused by foreign objects like catheters or mechanical heart valves. One Phase 2 study not conducted on thrombosis has reported FXII inhibition as safe. In conclusion, FXI seems to be a promising target for antithrombotic therapy, both alone and in combination with existing therapies, while the potential of targeting FXII is still unclear.
Good review article of factor XI and XII targets. If a clinician wished to read one article to update themself in this area, this article would be a good choice.