Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Antidote can deactivate new form of heparin

27.02.2014

Low-molecular-weight heparin is commonly used in surgeries to prevent dangerous blood clots. But when patients experience the other extreme – uncontrolled bleeding – in response to low-molecular-weight heparin, there is no antidote.

Now researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have created a synthetic form of low-molecular-weight heparin that can be reversed if things go wrong and would be safer for patients with poor kidney function. 

“When doctors talk to me about the kind of heparin they want to use during and after surgery, they want it reversible, and they want it to not go through the kidneys,” said Jian Liu, the John A. and Deborah S. McNeill Jr. Distinguished Professor in the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, and one of the inventors of the new drug. 

While unfractionated heparin is the type commonly used in procedures such as dialysis, the more-refined low-molecular-weight heparins are the drugs of choice for preventing dangerous blood clots in hospitalized patients. However, low-molecular-weight heparin doesn’t have an antidote and it is also cleared from the body by the kidneys, which can make it unsuitable for patients with a weakened kidney function, a relatively common condition among hospitalized patients. 

... more about:
»UNC »bleeding »blood »clots »function »kidneys »synthetic

Liu and RPI’s Robert Lindhardt and their teams created a synthetic version of low-molecular-weight heparin that can be counteracted by an existing drug and can be cleared by the liver, not the kidneys. Their creation is described in Nature Chemical Biology this week. 

Up to 5 percent of patients receiving heparin experience some form of uncontrolled bleeding, explained Liu. Patients receiving unfractionated heparin are in less danger because there is an existing FDA-approved antidote available. The antidote, called protamine, is not as effective in reversing low-molecular-weight heparin so Liu and Lindhardt tweaked the drug’s molecular structure so that protamine is able to deactivate it. 

“If a person’s kidneys aren’t effectively clearing heparin from the blood, the drug stays active in the body for longer than expected,” said Nigel Key, a hematologist with UNC Health Care and the UNC School of Medicine and one of the paper’s coauthors. “That can represent a potentially dangerous situation for the physician, pharmacist and patient.” 

Heparin prevents blood clots from forming and is most often used during and after such procedures as kidney dialysis, heart bypass surgery, stent implantation, indwelling catheters and knee and hip replacement. Its side effects can include uncontrolled bleeding and thrombocytopenia (too few platelets in the blood). The worldwide sales of heparin are estimated at $4 billion annually. 

The natural form of the drug was in the spotlight in spring 2008 when more than eighty people died and hundreds of others suffered adverse reactions to it, leading to recalls of heparin in countries around the world. Authorities linked the problems to a contaminant in raw natural heparin from China. Natural heparin is most commonly extracted from the linings of pig intestines. 

“The pig stuff has served us well for fifty years and is very inexpensive, but if we cannot control the supply chain, we cannot ensure the safety of the drug,” Liu said. “I am working for the day when synthetic heparin can be brewed in large laboratories at a low cost.” 

School of Pharmacy contact: David Etchison, (919) 966-7744, david_etchison@unc.edu
News Services contact: Thania Benios, (919) 962-8596, thania_benios@unc.edu

Thania Benios | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.unc.edu

Further reports about: UNC bleeding blood clots function kidneys synthetic

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Researchers uncover protein-based “cancer signature”
05.12.2016 | Universität Basel

nachricht The Nagoya Protocol Creates Disadvantages for Many Countries when Applied to Microorganisms
05.12.2016 | Leibniz-Institut DSMZ-Deutsche Sammlung von Mikroorganismen und Zellkulturen GmbH

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

IHP presents the fastest silicon-based transistor in the world

05.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

InLight study: insights into chemical processes using light

05.12.2016 | Materials Sciences

High-precision magnetic field sensing

05.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>