In our plasmin program, we are studying novel antifibrinolytic agents for the control of blood loss during surgery or resulting from trauma as well as for other hyperfibrinolytic states (e.g., liver disease). Excessive bleeding during cardiac or trauma surgery is known to increase overall morbidity and mortality. In an attempt to control this bleeding, patients undergoing cardiac and other extensive surgery often receive antifibrinolytic compounds. These drugs inhibit plasmin, an enzyme present in blood that degrades fibrin clots. Because plasmin degrades fibrin clots, an agent that inhibits plasmin may have potential utility for reducing blood loss due to trauma or surgery.
Prior to withdrawal from the U.S. and European markets in 2008 for safety concerns, the antifibrinolytic Trasylol® (aprotinin) had been shown in a number of studies to be more effective at reducing blood loss than the other two most commonly used antifibrinolytics on the market today, tranexamic acid and epsilon aminocaproic acid. While Trasylol® is a potent inhibitor of plasmin, it is non-selective. In addition to plasmin, it significantly inhibits kallikrein and Factor XIa, two enzymes important in promoting clotting, and their inhibition can increase bleeding. Trasylol® was found to be associated with a number of safety issues, including increased mortality. Further, it is a bovine protein associated with anaphylactic reactions. While the specific cause of increased death remains unknown, an often-cited explanation is the lack of specificity of Trasylol®. Our proprietary agents also inhibit plasmin but, unlike Trasylol®, they do not significantly inhibit kallikrein or Factor XIa. Additionally, our agents are derived from human protein, which may reduce immunological side effects. We believe that the potential efficacy, human-protein derivation and improved selectivity of our proprietary agents provide a novel approach to the control of bleeding from surgery and trauma.
In our plasmin program, we are studying novel antifibrinolytic agents for the control of blood loss during surgery or resulting from trauma as well as for other hyperfibrinolytic states (e.g., liver disease).
We hold worldwide exclusive licenses to a series of antifibrinolytic agents. As of March 8, 2016, we exclusively controlled three issued patents and two pending patent applications in the U.S. and 22 issued and 12 pending patent applications in foreign markets that are directed to these proprietary agents.