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Researchers have discovered a blood clot treatment that can change the game


A potentially game-changing treatment for people with or at risk of blood clots has been found to be effective by an international team of researchers led by Jeffrey Weitz at McMaster University.

Witz’s team compared averasimab with enoxaparin as a control in 412 patients undergoing knee replacement. The results showed that a single injection of averasimab prevented blood clots for up to 1 month after surgery, reducing the risk by about 80% compared to enoxaparin without increasing the risk of bleeding.

Their findings were published today in the New England Journal of Medicine, consistent with Witz’s presentation at the 2021 International Thrombosis and Hemostasis Society Conference.

Hematologist Weitz is a professor of medicine, biochemistry and biomedicine at McMaster University’s Michael G. DeGlute School of Medicine and Secretary-General of the Institute for Thrombosis and Atherosclerosis.

“Patients undergoing total knee arthroplasty regularly receive anticoagulant treatment with enoxaparin or other anticoagulants that require daily administration,” he said.

“A single injection of averasimab after surgery was found to provide far better protection against blood clots in the veins of the legs compared to one of the current standard treatments, enoxaparin.”

Patients enrolled in the study were closely monitored for symptoms or signs of clotting or bleeding and underwent an X-ray examination of the veins in the operated legs to detect possible thrombosis.

The potential of Avellasimab to treat other cardiovascular diseases has excited Weitz and his fellow scientists.

This success of averasimab in this study provides the basis for its use in the prevention of stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation, in the treatment of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, venous thrombosis in the legs and thrombosis in the lungs. cancer. “

Jeffrey Weitz, Hematologist, McMaster University

Avellasimab is an antibody that binds to both the inactive and activated forms of factor XI, one of the coagulation factors, and prevents its activation and activity, thereby stopping clot formation.

This study proved that factor XI was an important driver of clot formation after surgery, and the fact that averasimab was more effective than enoxaparin, which inhibits coagulation factors downstream of factor XI, He added that he emphasized the importance of Factor XI in blood clot formation.

“Patients with congenital factor XI deficiency have a lower risk of blood clots, but spontaneous bleeding is rare, so factor XI is a safer target for new anticoagulants than currently available anticoagulant targets. I’m hoping there is, “he said.

Patients undergoing orthopedic surgery, such as total knee arthroplasty, are at risk of blood clots in the veins of the operated legs, so new anticoagulants may be tested first, according to Weitz. Often. Therefore, different doses of drugs can be evaluated to identify effective and safe drugs compared to standard treatments such as enoxaparin.

These doses can then be carried over to the study of patients with clots or at risk of clots such as cancer-related clots or stroke prevention in patients with atrial fibrillation.

The study was funded by Anthos Therapeutics, a Cambridge-based, Massachusetts-based developer of Avellasimab.


Journal reference:

Verhamme, P. , et al. (2021) Avellasimab for the prevention of venous thromboembolism. New England Journal of Medicine.





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