New drug may prevent blood clots in patients undergoing heart procedures
Results from a study of the drug were recently published in the American Heart Association journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology. The tests showed PZ-128 to be safe and effective.
PZ-128 is a a pepducin. These drugs get into cells and alter the biochemical process, which can protect against clotting. The study, headed by Dr. Athan Kuliopulos, director of the Center for Hemostasis and Thrombosis Research at Tufts Medical Center, was the first to test pepducins on humans.
There are other anti-platelet therapies on the market; however, their side effect is an increased risk of bleeding. PZ-128 is faster-acting, and the risk of excess bleeding is lower because it is reversible.
In patients given the highest doses of PZ-128, 80 to 100 percent of platelets did not clump together. The drug was also shown to be out of the patients' systems within 24 to 192 hours.
PZ-128 works by blocking the platelet-activating receptor PAR1. No other therapies currently available block this receptor.
More testing on PZ-128 will happen in the near future, Kuliopulos said. A phase II study will include as many as 600 patients who are slated to have angioplasty or have been diagnosed with acute blood flow blockages to the heart.
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