There remains an urgent need for an accurate alternative treatment for ischaemic stroke

There is only one licensed thrombolytic therapy for the treatment of acute ischaemic stroke, recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rt-PA). However, this is not widely administered due to an associated risk of haemorrhagic transformation. Moreover, resistance to rt-PA thrombolysis is observed in 40-50% of patients which is believed to result from varying clot composition.

ADAMT13 is a protease involved in the regulation of blood homeostasis through the degradation of von Willebrand factor. It has previously been identified as a novel thrombolytic therapy, however its progress through clinical trials appears to have been hindered by the need for very high doses and associated cost of manufacture.

The team have developed a variant of the protease which shows a five-fold increase in activity against von Willebrand factor and have shown its improved efficacy in a blinded pre-clinical study using a murine model of ischaemic stroke.

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Tansi Khodai