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Tufts Medical Center researchers receive $10 million NIH grant to test blood clot prevention drug
Date:7/3/2012

Boston, Mass. (July 3, 2012) Tufts Medical Center researchers are developing a first-of-its-kind drug to prevent deadly blood clots in heart disease patients, without the risk of serious bleeding associated with current medications. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health has just awarded the team led by Athan Kuliopulos, MD, PhD, a $10 million grant to start testing a drug based on this novel technology.

"If our study works, it's potentially game-changing and could become part of the standard of care for patients being treated for coronary artery blockages," said Kuliopulos, Director of the Hemostasis and Thrombosis Lab at Tufts Medical Center.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. The new approach could benefit patients who have had heart attacks or who need cardiac catheterization procedures to prop open clogged arteries with a stent. These patients face increased risk for blood clots that can cause heart attack and death. To reduce these risks, patients are currently treated with anti-clotting drugs, which increase their risk of life-threatening bleeding problems.

In a study to be published today in the journal Circulation, Tufts Medical Center researchers have discovered a mechanism to inhibit the ability of platelets to form clots without increasing the risk of bleeding. The new approach uses pepducins, which are able to travel inside cells to block receptors and inhibit molecular pathways that stimulate clot formation. By contrast, most approved drugs block receptors on the outside of cells. If successful, this new strategy could lead to an entirely new class of drugs.

The pepducin, PZ-128, inhibits PAR1, a platelet protein that stimulates clotting. When added to human blood samples, PZ-128 appears to inhibit clotting without affecting bleeding markers. It also clears out of the blood stream within hours, which should reduce the risk
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Contact: Julie Jette
jjette@tuftsmedicalcenter.org
617-636-3265
Tufts Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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