Blood Clots May be Directly Targeted With Magnetically Controlled Enzyme

In western countries, thrombolysis is effectively carried out in approximately 15% of cases.
In western countries, thrombolysis is effectively carried out in approximately 15% of cases.

A new magnetically controlled drug may be able to dissolve a blood clot without negatively affecting the entire network of blood vessels. The drug, which is under development by scientists in Russia, delivers thrombolytic enzymes in a safe and targeted manner.

Atherothrombosis is the principal cause of death worldwide. Current thrombolytic drugs used to treat blood clot blockages require high doses to reach the clot and spread over the whole circulatory system, causing potential serious complications and numerous side-effects. In western countries, thrombolysis is effectively carried out in approximately 15% of cases. 

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The new treatment currently under-development is safe for intravenous injection. On artificial blood clots obtained from human plasma and blood, the material was shown to dissolve clots up to 4,000 times more efficiently than ordinary enzyme-based drugs.

“We decided to develop a method of targeted drug delivery that would allow us to considerably reduce the dosage and ensure that the whole therapeutic effect is focused on the clot,” said co-author, Ivan Dudanov of MariinskyHospital.

The new material can be used to create thrombolytic coating for artificial blood vessels and consists of porous magnetite and molecules of urokinase enzyme that can be easily localized near the clot by means of an external magnetic field. The magnetite framework can also protect enzymes from various inhibitors that are found in blood and can often deactivate thrombolytic medications. 

The researchers hypothesize that the new composite may also be used for thrombosis prevention as the enzyme can clean vessels and will naturally excrete through the liver like other metabolites.

Vladimir Vinogradov, Head of the Laboratory of Solution Chemistry of Advanced Materials and Technologies, stated they are now preparing for preclinical studies of the material.

For more information visit nature.com.

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