DRUG NEWS: Vampire bat saliva puts a scare into blood clots

October 2004 
Volume 34  Number 10
Pages 28 - 28
  PDF Version Available!

 © 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 ...

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