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Experimental drug may extend therapeutic window for stroke
Date:7/17/2012

company's 3K3A-APC is a genetically engineered variant of the naturally occurring activated protein C (APC), which plays a role in the regulation of blood clotting and inflammation. APC has cell-protecting, anti-inflammatory and anti-coagulant properties; 3K3A-APC has reduced anti-coagulant ability, which minimizes the risk of bleeding induced by normal APC. The protective effect of 3K3A-APC on the lining of blood vessels in the brain further helps prevent bleeding caused by tPA.

In collaboration with the University of Rochester Medical Center, Henry Ford Health Sciences Center, University of Arizona College of Medicine and The Scripps Research Institute, Zlokovic and his team gave tPA alone and in combination with 3K3A-APC to mice and rats four hours after stroke. They also gave 3K3A-APC for three consecutive days after stroke. They measured the amount of brain damage, bleeding and motor ability of the rodents up to seven days afterward.

The researchers found that, under those conditions, tPA therapy alone caused bleeding in the brain and did not reduce brain damage or improve motor ability when compared to the control. The combination of tPA and 3K3A-APC, however, reduced brain damage by more than half, eliminated tPA-induced bleeding and significantly improved motor ability.

"Dr. Zlokovic's study really demonstrates the promise of the drug and we are eager to show the same results in human clinical trials," said Kent Pryor, Ph.D., M.B.A., ZZ Biotech's chief operating officer.

Previous research suggests that the experimental drug may also protect against other neurological maladies such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and traumatic brain injury as a standalone therapy.

"We are encouraged by these results," said Joe Romano, CEO and president of ZZ Biotech. "In terms of improving treatment for stroke and other neurological diseases, this could be really exciting."


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Contact: Alison Trinidad
alison.trinidad@usc.edu
323-442-3941
University of Southern California - Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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