Focus On: Fondaparinux: A novel synthetic antithrombotic for prevention of venous thromboembolism

Fondaparinux, the first in a new class of antithrombotics that selectively target factor Xa, has been deemed approvable by the FDA for prevention of venous thromboembolism following orthopedic surgery. Four phase III trials have suggested that it may be more effective than enoxaparin in this setting with little to no additional bleeding risk. This Focus review examines data from these trials and others in an effort to sketch out this pending agent's likely therapeutic role.