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New targeted drug effectively dissolves blood clots, has fewer side effects

Critical conditions associated with the blockage of blood vessels are one of the primary health concerns worldwide. The main objective of emergency assistance in such conditions is to effectively implement thrombolysis, i.e. to quickly dissolve the clot. To this end, scientists from ITMO University in cooperation with Mariinsky Hospital in Saint Petersburg have developed a magnetically controlled drug that can be condensed on a blood clot by means of a magnetic field. The new drug is safe for intravenous injection and can dissolve clots up to 4000 times more efficiently than ordinary enzyme-based drugs. The new study will also help reduce drug dosage, thus avoiding numerous side effects. The results of the research were published in Scientific Reports.

In emergency situations caused by thrombosis, the clot has to be destroyed within a very short period of time – about 3 to 4,5 hours. After that, tissues die without blood flow. But even if the patient was lucky enough to undergo thrombolysis, he will get numerous complications caused by the thrombolytic drug – a specific enzyme injected intravenously to dissolve blood clots. On the average, in developed countries, thrombolysis is effectively carried out in 15% of cases. In countries like Russia, the figure is much lower: out of a hundred people brought to the hospital, only two can benefit significantly from the procedure. In other cases, the patient faces the risk of disability of death.

Thrombolytic system on vascular thrombus
The influence of developed thrombolytic system on vascular thrombus extracted during the operation
Image Credit: ITMO University