October 2004, Volume 34 Number 10 , p 28 - 28
© 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc. Volume 34(10) October 2004 p 28 Vampire bat saliva puts a scare into blood clots [DRUG NEWS: STROKE]
A U.S. pharmaceutical company has acquired the rights to an experimental stroke treatment made from vampire bat saliva. The drug, desmoteplase, is designed to break up cerebral blood clots.
Desmoteplase is a genetically engineered version of a protein in a vampire bat's saliva that prevents clotting when the bat sucks blood from prey. The first in a new class of plasminogen activators, desmoteplase possesses a high fibrin selectivity that lets it dismantle a clot without affecting the coagulation system. This quality may decrease the risk of intracranial bleeding.
Desmoteplase seems to work within 9 hours of a stroke. Activase, the only clot-busting drug approved for acute ischemic stroke treatment, must be ...