Anticoagulant drugs are used to prevent and treat thrombotic disorders in millions of patients worldwide. This Milestone plots the history of anticoagulant drugs on an interactive Timeline, starting with the discovery and clinical trials of heparin and warfarin. The synthesis of low-molecular-weight heparins enabled more convenient, outpatient treatment of thrombosis. Since 2000, the development of direct oral factor Xa and thrombin inhibitors as well as antidotes to reverse the effects of these drugs has revolutionized the practice of anticoagulation. Nevertheless, the delicate cost–benefit balance between bleeding and prevention of clotting continues to drive research into novel agents and optimal dosing regimens.

Produced with support from:

This Milestone is editorially independent, produced with financial support from a third party. About this content.

About Portola Pharmaceuticals

Portola is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of novel therapeutics in the areas of thrombosis, other hematologic disorders and inflammation for patients who currently have limited or no approved treatment options.

We are advancing our three wholly-owned compounds using novel biomarker and genetic approaches that may increase the likelihood of clinical, regulatory and commercial success of our potentially life-saving therapies. Two of these compounds were discovered through our internal research efforts and one was discovered by Portola scientists during their time at a prior company.

For more information, visit

Read the sponsor’s selected article.

This article has been made freely available thanks to the financial support from Portola Pharmaceuticals, Inc. The article is editorially independent and was published by Nature Medicine in 2013.