Hopes soar with promising new DVT drug
THE ticking time bomb of deep vein thrombosis on longhaul flights may have been disarmed by Melbourne scientists.
Researchers from the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute have developed a new drug with the potential to prevent clots not only for travellers, but also those at risk of, or during, a heart attack or stroke.
In partnership with Harvard University, the Melbourne researchers have shown blood clots can be avoided by using small doses of a peptide that can cling to high-risk areas, preventing dangerous damage.
Baker Institute researcher Xiaowei Wang said the drug could be given in small doses to prevent clots from forming, potentially making it safer than current blood-thinning and clot-busting medications that carry a danger of bleeding.
“We have the potential to not only treat people who are having heart attack, stroke or deep vein thrombosis, but also to protect the patients who are at a very high risk of these events before they occur,” Professor Wang said.
“You could take it before you fly and, hopefully, it reduces your risk of getting a deep vein thrombosis.”
An Australian dies every 12 minutes from cardiovascular disease.
The Baker and Harvard drug has been genetically engineered to be attracted to the platelets that form at the site of a clot – without any effect on the rest of a person’s blood.
Results of a preclinical trial showed the antibodies clung to high-risk areas and stopped clots forming.