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Stroke

Vampire Bat Drug Promising in Trials

14 years, 11 months ago

813  0
Posted on Nov 10, 2003, 11 p.m. By Bill Freeman

German biotechnology company Paion GmbH has announced that a stroke drug derived from the spit of the vampire bat has produced promising results in trials. Desmoteplase is a genetically engineered version of the protein Desmodus rotundus, which is found in the saliva of the vampire bat. The protein's ability to prevent clot formation enables the bat to suck blood from its prey freely.

German biotechnology company Paion GmbH has announced that a stroke drug derived from the spit of the vampire bat has produced promising results in trials. Desmoteplase is a genetically engineered version of the protein Desmodus rotundus, which is found in the saliva of the vampire bat. The protein's ability to prevent clot formation enables the bat to suck blood from its prey freely. Mid-stage trial results showed that desmoteplase improves blood circulation in areas of the brain damaged by stroke, and appears to be safe. Bleeding in the brain is a serious side effect of clot-busting drugs, however desmoteplase caused bleeding in less than 10% of patients. The results also showed that desmoteplase is effective when given up to nine hours after a stroke, whereas the current leading clot-busting busting drug tissue plasminogen activator or t-PA is only effective when given within three hours.

SOURCE/REFERENCE: Reported by www.reutershealth.com on the 16th October 2003.

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