Friday, April 6, 2012

New Drug on the Horizon for Stroke Victims

Thrombotech believes they have a fighting chance to help save millions of people from death and severe disability after a stroke with their new drug, THR-18, a peptide derived from Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor-1 (PAl-1).

As of right now, the only drug available for ischemic stroke victims is tPA (tissue plasminogen activator).  If given within three hours of the stroke symptoms' initial appearance, tPA dissolves the blood clots that are blocking the flow of blood to the brain, but, tPA has major limitations, it can cause dangerous hemorrhaging in the brain, swelling of the brain and damage to the nerves.

When co-administered with the drug tPA, THR-18 has been shown in a variety of animal studies and documented in Nature Neuroscience, volume 9 2006 issue, to reduce infarct size, brain swelling and edema, damage to neurons, and incidence of both hemorrhaging and mortality.

When THR-18 binds with tPA, it was found that THR-18 prevents the deleterious opening of the blood brain barrier following tPA administration and has the potential to extend tPA's therapeutic time window from three hours to nine hours.

Ruth Ben-Yakar, Thrombotech's CEO, said, "It's important to understand that neuro-protective drugs, which protect the brain from damage due to lack of oxygen, all have failed.  This is very unfortunate, yet this is part of the reason I believe in this drug."

After successfully completing phase l toxicity tests, Thrombotech is embarking on phase lla clinical trials required to meet FDA's guidelines, if all goes well, THR-18 could be on the market as early as 2017.

"If these results are extended to humans, they could usher in a new era of thrombolytic therapy for stroke, which is the leading cause of disability in the world and the third leading cause of death in the United States after cancer and heart disease."  -John Hopkins neurologists Ted M Dawson and Valina L Dawson

Israel 21c  

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