Stroke is the third leading cause of death and the leading
cause of adult disability in developed countries. In the United States,
approximately 795,000 people experience a new or recurrent stroke each year.
Intravenous thrombolysis with tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) remains the
only FDA-approved therapy for acute ischemic stroke. However, only a small fraction of potentially
eligible stroke patients in the United States are receiving tPA therapy, with
an estimated rate of tPA use of 1.8% to 2.1% in ischemic stroke patients. One
barrier to widespread implementation of acute stroke thrombolysis is the fear
of symptomatic intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) which has a 50% mortality rate. Evidence
from randomized clinical trials and subsequent clinical experience clearly
demonstrates that tPA thrombolysis presents real safety concerns due to a
10-fold increase in the incidence of symptomatic ICH. If a method for
identifying patients who are at low risk of developing symptomatic ICH could be
developed, more stroke patients could benefit from tPA therapy.
Blood brain barrier (BBB) disruption is a hypothesized
precursor to ICH. Studies have shown an intriguing phenomenon that ischemic
brain regions with compromised BBB at the time of tPA administration are at
high risk of intracerebral bleeding. As thus, early ischemic BBB damage appears
to be a key factor to determine whether ischemic brain tissue can safely
withstand a return of blood flow and is increasingly considered a promising
pretreatment predictor for post-thrombolysis ICH. Researchers at the University
of New Mexico have used this concept to develop a rapid and reliable
blood-based indicator for predicting post-thrombolysis ICH. This technology has the potential to clinically
detect early ischemic BBB damage thus allowing physicians to administer tPA
treatment while understanding the patient’s risk for symptomatic ICH.
STC has filed intellectual property on this exciting new technology and is currently exploring commercialization options. If you are interested in information about this or other technologies, please contact Arlene Mirabal at email@example.com or 505-272-7886.