In a clinical trial being planned for hospitals in Massachusetts and Colorado, patients with severe cases of COVID-19 would be given the blood thinner tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), a protein prescribed for heart attack and stroke victims.
The redirection of the proven blood clot buster comes from data emerging from China and Italy where patients brought to acute respiratory distress by COVID-19 were shown to have a profound blood clotting disorder that contributed to their respiratory failure. tPA would help clear those clots, giving ventilators a greater chance of helping patients survive.
“If this were to work, which I hope it will, it could potentially be scaled up very quickly, because every hospital already has it in their pharmacy,” says Michael Yaffe, a David H. Koch Professor of Science at MIT. “We don’t have to make a new drug, and we don’t have to do the same kind of testing that you would have to do with a new agent. This is a drug that we already use. We’re just trying to repurpose it.”
Yaffe is the senior author of a paper that appears in the Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery. He also is a member of MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research and an intensive care physician at Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/Harvard Medical School. Co-authors of the paper include Dr. Christopher Barrett a surgeon at Beth Israel Deaconess and a visiting scientist at MIT; Hunter Moore, Ernest Moore, Peter Moore, and Robert McIntyre of the University of Colorado at Denver; Daniel Talmor of Beth Israel Deaconess; and Frederick Moore of the University of Florida.
The researchers will test tPA in patients under the FDA’s “compassionate use” program, which allows experimental drugs to be used in cases where there are no other treatment options. The drug will be administered intravenously or directly into the airways.
If the drug appears to help in an initial set of patients, its use could be expanded further, Yaffe says. BARDA ( the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority) will fund the trial. Genentech is donating the drug for the initial trial.
Filed Under: Drug Discovery, Drug Discovery and Development, Infectious Disease
Robert Sacca says
Is warfarin the same class of drug as tpa? Would it have similar effects?
aristides henriquez says
Are there other blood thinner that also work like Xerelto??
Kelli Blair says
I have factor v leiden and was worried that I am higher risk for covid19. After reading this article am I to assume this is correct because patients in Italy with clotting disorders were in respiratory distress.
Ed Craine says
i was wondering if anyone that is on blood thinners have died from this virus. Or had symptoms and are ok. I’ve been on Coumadin for over 8 years and will be for life based on today’s technology
John Crawford says
This is how a number of our therapies have evolved. COVID-19 is a stressful situation for our medical workers and in this environment they feel the need for more and more research. Blood clotting factors may or may not be relevant, but emotively I hope they are. (Retired doctor, health administration. and university appointment)
John Crawford says
This is one of the ways our medical protocols have evolved. COVID-19 is a stressful situation and in this environment medical workers feel the need for more and more research. Blood clotting factors may or may not be relevant, but emotively I hope they are. (Retired doctor, health administration. and university appointment)
John G. Polachek says
Nattokinase can bust clots not as well as tPA but enough could help.
Gale Mosgofian says
I had Covid19 for 8 days. I had a nagging headache the whole 8 days. I got a call from the doctor and was told about it causing little blood clots all over our bodies. He asked me to take baby aspirin. I told him that I was going to take Nattokinase instead. My 8 day headache was gone within 2 hours of taking it. I actually felt like oxygen was getting to my brain again. I kept taking 100 mg twice a day for about a week and a half.
John Shiels says
DMSO dimethyl sulfoxide deserves a look.