New protein could improve heart attack treatment in the future

7 August 2014        

Man gets chest pain

Administering a new protein during emergency heart attack treatment could help prevent a person’s arteries from further blockages, scientists say.

After a heart attack patients are given drugs including aspirin and clopidogrel to prevent further clots from forming. However, this can increase the risk of internal bleeding.

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine found the genetically-engineered protein APT102 was more effective than clopidogrel at preventing blood clots from reforming in dogs after a heart attack and reduced the risk of bleeding.

The study also found the protein reduced the damage caused to the heart tissue caused by the heart attack.

Further research should be carried out to see if this protein could be a valuable new treatment for heart attack patients


Our Associate Medical Director, Jeremy Pearson, said: “Researchers have long sought to discover the holy grail of anti-coagulant drugs which can reduce the risk of clotting after a heart attack without increasing the risk of bleeding.

"The need is real, as current drugs like aspirin and clopidogrel, while effective, do come with the increased risk of bleeding.

“These findings are encouraging and further research should be carried out to see if this protein could be a valuable new treatment for heart attack patients.”