New drug to prevent clots clears safety hurdle

By American Heart Association News

Kateryna Kon/Science Photo Library, Getty Images
(Kateryna Kon/Science Photo Library, Getty Images)

An experimental type of anti-clotting drug appears to be safe, according to an early-phase study.

That's good news in the treatment of stroke because current medications can increase the risk of potentially dangerous bleeding.

The results of the first human trials for the new antiplatelet compound, known as ACT017, were reported Thursday in the American Heart Association's journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology. They clear the way for a larger phase 2 trial, which the drug's developer, Acticor-Biotech, said is getting started in stroke patients.

People who have had a stroke caused by a clot are at risk for another. They are usually given medicines such as aspirin that inhibit platelets from clumping and forming clots. But current antiplatelet medicines also increase the risk of bleeding in the brain.

The new study raises hope that ACT017 might eventually provide a safer alternative.

"There is a clear need for a novel antiplatelet agent that resolves platelet aggregation and clot formation without raising the risk for bleeding. Such a therapy would considerably improve and expand our current therapeutic arsenal for the treatment of acute stroke," said Dr. Martine Jandrot-Perrus, the study's senior author, in a news release. She's a scientist at France's National Institute of Health and Medical Research and a consultant for Acticor-Biotech, which paid for the trial.

The drug targets a protein found in platelets. This protein is critical for clot formation but does not play a role in regulating bleeding.

The phase 1 trial involved 36 healthy people. The most common side effects were mild headache and head discomfort, which resolved during the study.

"Our results are quite encouraging because they show the candidate compound is well-tolerated at doses even twice as high as the ones targeted for a future treatment and without any signs of bleeding," Jandrot-Perrus said. "Another encouraging finding is the fact that the drug's action on platelets is rapid, specific and largely reversible within 24 hours."

If you have questions or comments about this story, please email [email protected].

American Heart Association News Stories

American Heart Association News covers heart disease, stroke and related health issues. Not all views expressed in American Heart Association News stories reflect the official position of the American Heart Association. Statements, conclusions, accuracy and reliability of studies published in American Heart Association scientific journals or presented at American Heart Association scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the American Heart Association’s official guidance, policies or positions.

Copyright is owned or held by the American Heart Association, Inc., and all rights are reserved. Permission is granted, at no cost and without need for further request, for individuals, media outlets, and non-commercial education and awareness efforts to link to, quote, excerpt from or reprint these stories in any medium as long as no text is altered and proper attribution is made to American Heart Association News.

Other uses, including educational products or services sold for profit, must comply with the American Heart Association’s Copyright Permission Guidelines. See full terms of use. These stories may not be used to promote or endorse a commercial product or service.

HEALTH CARE DISCLAIMER: This site and its services do not constitute the practice of medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always talk to your health care provider for diagnosis and treatment, including your specific medical needs. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem or condition, please contact a qualified health care professional immediately. If you are in the United States and experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 or call for emergency medical help immediately.