Novel P2Y12 inhibitors are in development to overcome the occurrence of atherothrombotic events associated with poor responsiveness to the widely used P2Y12 inhibitor clopidogrel. Cangrelor is an intravenously administered P2Y12 inhibitor that does not need metabolic conversion to an active metabolite for its antiplatelet action, and as a consequence exhibits a more potent and consistent antiplatelet profile as compared to clopidogrel. It was the objective of this study to determine the contribution of variation in the P2Y12 receptor gene to platelet aggregation after in vitro partial P2Y12 receptor blockade with the direct antagonist cangrelor. Optical aggregometry was performed at baseline and after in vitro addition of 0.05 and 0.25 mu M cangrelor to the platelet-rich plasma of 254 healthy subjects. Five haplotype-tagging (ht)-SNPs covering the entire P2Y12 receptor gene were genotyped (rs6798347C>t, rs6787801T>c, rs9859552C>a, rs6801273A>g and rs2046934T>c [T744C]) and haplotypes were inferred. The minor c allele of SNP rs6787801 was associated with a 5% lower 20 mu M ADP-induced peak platelet aggregation (0.05 mu M cangrelor, p<0.05). Aa homozygotes for SNP rs9859552 showed 20% and 17% less inhibition of platelet aggregation with cangrelor when compared to CC homozygotes (0.05 and 0.25 mu M cangrelor respectively; p<0.05). Results of the haplotype analyses were consistent with those of the single SNPs. Polymorphisms of the P2Y12 receptor gene contribute significantly to the interindividual variability in platelet inhibition after partial in vitro blockade with the P2Y12 antagonist cangrelor.