A research carried out at the University of Illinois, Chicago has led to the development of a new drug. The drug prevents blood clots, and does not increase the risk of bleeding. Meanwhile, bleeding is a common side effect of all antiplatelet medications that are currently used.
The study of the drug and its delivery mechanisms also shows it is an effective treatment for heart attack in animals.
Unfortunately, antiplatelet medications currently used not only prevent blood clotting that cause heart attack and stroke, but also disrupt the ability of platelets to stop bleeding if a blood vessel is ruptured. In severe cases, it can be fatal.
To avoid this, the new drug does magic. It prevents clots but does not make people vulnerable to bleeding, which other drugs have been unable to do.
Earlier, in another study, the team of researchers found a signaling mechanism important in the blood clotting process. This mechanism, however, is not required for the ability of the platelets to adhere to a wound and prevent bleeding. Learning from this, the researchers obtained a peptide to aim the signaling mechanism. Also, the study involved design of a nanoparticle that was successful to deliver the peptide into platelets.
Called M3Mp6 of HLPN, the nanoparticle obtained from peptide then tested in mice as a possible treatment for heart attacks.
A heart attack can become a reason for heart failure and death in two ways, said the lead researcher. One, from the initial damage because of the clot, which obstructs blood flow and lowers oxygen supply. Typically, the treatment involves a procedure called angioplasty and stenting to unblock the artery, in combination with antiplatelet drugs to prevent clotting of the artery again. However, flow of fresh blood into the damaged heart tissue following the reopening of artery can trigger inflammation, leading to leaks and clots in small blood vessels.