New clot-busting drug offers hope to stroke victims

London: Trials of a new clot-busting drug for stroke victims are taking place in the US and Canada.

If successful, the drug, by UK company Vernalis and codenamed V10153, could go into the final phase of clinical trials next year.

The drug contains a protein that activates when it comes into contact with a clot and breaks it up. It is thought that the drug will be particularly helpful to those who have ischemic strokes, the most common form of stroke triggered by a blood clot in the brain. It can be given up to nine hours after a stroke and still be viable, unlike most current medications.

Vernalis medical director Dr John Hutchison said that clotbusting drugs should be administered as quickly as possible after a stroke, but that it was often difficult to get a patient scanned and treated within three hours.