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New drug against stroke passes initial tests
March 4, 2018, 1:27 pm

A new drug that has the potential to offer a more effective treatment against stroke, without associated side effects, has passed initial clinical tests.

Stroke is a cardiovascular event that happens when blood supply to the brain is obstructed leaving areas of the brain without sufficient oxygen supply. The most common type of stroke is ischemic stroke, which is caused by a blood clot obstructing a blood vessel.

Treatment for acute ischemic stroke is usually done by administering tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), which is the only drug approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of stroke in the US. This drug type acts by dissolving obstructive blood clots, in order to allow blood to flow normally again.

However, tPA has a number of shortcomings, including the fact that it has to be administered within a fairly short window of time — 4.5 hours from the event — and that it is sometimes accompanied by serious complications, such as intracranial hemorrhage, or bleeding within the brain.

 In an effort to find an additional treatment that may protect against some of these effects, scientists from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) in California have developed a new drug called 3K3A-APC.

The drug is an engineered variant of activated protein C, which humans normally produce. It has been linked to the regulation of blood clotting and to certain aspects of the body's inflammatory response.

Initial tests suggest that the experimental drug not only decreased any damage consistent with stroke, but it also shielded the brain from the complications normally caused by tPA.




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