Ticagrelor vs placebo for the reduction of vaso-occlusive crises in pediatric sickle cell disease: the HESTIA3 study

Academic Article


  • The phase 3 HESTIA3 study assessed the efficacy and safety of the reversible P2Y12 inhibitor ticagrelor vs placebo in preventing vaso-occlusive crises in pediatric patients with sickle cell disease (SCD). Patients aged 2 to 17 years were randomly assigned 1:1 to receive weight-based doses of ticagrelor or matching placebo. The primary end point was the rate of vaso-occlusive crises, a composite of painful crises and/or acute chest syndrome (ACS). Key secondary end points included number and duration of painful crises, number of ACS events, and number of vaso-occlusive crises requiring hospitalization or emergency department visits. Exploratory end points included the effect of ticagrelor on platelet activation. In total, 193 patients (ticagrelor, n = 101; placebo, n = 92) underwent randomization at 53 sites across 16 countries. The study was terminated 4 months before planned completion for lack of efficacy. Median ticagrelor exposure duration was 296.5 days. The primary end point was not met: estimated yearly incidence of vaso-occlusive crises was 2.74 in the ticagrelor group and 2.60 in the placebo group (rate ratio, 1.06; 95% confidence interval, 0.75-1.50; P = .7597). There was no evidence of efficacy for ticagrelor vs placebo across secondary end points. Median platelet inhibition with ticagrelor at 6 months was 34.9% predose and 55.7% at 2 hours' postdose. Nine patients (9%) in the ticagrelor group and eight patients (9%) in the placebo group had at least one bleeding event. In conclusion, no reduction of vaso-occlusive crises was seen with ticagrelor vs placebo in these pediatric patients with SCD. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT03615924.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Blood  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Heeney MM; Abboud MR; Githanga J; Inusa BPD; Kanter J; Michelson AD; Nduba V; Musiime V; Apte M; Inati A
  • Start Page

  • 1470
  • End Page

  • 1481
  • Volume

  • 140
  • Issue

  • 13