Novel Antibodies Could Create Safe Anticoagulants

Antibody prevents blood clots and excessive bleeding to improve treatment of atrial fibrillation.

A new antibody has been developed that can block the formation of blood clots without triggering uncontrolled bleeding.

Standard blood thinners prevent clots, but also come with bruising and bleeding risks that can deter some patients from seeking this type of treatment. Patients who have atrial fibrillation may opt for a more invasive procedure to implant the Watchman device that also prevents blood clots but does not carry the bleeding risks.

This novel blood thinner could potentially make the treatment completely safe for humans. Scientists also created a second antibody that can reverse the novel drug’s effects, offering another safety feature, according to a study published by Science Translational Medicine.

The coagulation factor Xia (FXIa) is a protein involved with blood clot formation, and was a major target for the study. The scientists were able to create an antibody that targets FXIa, and blocks its enzymatic activity.

The novel antibody was able to prevent the clotting of human blood, as well as mice and rabbit blood. The antibody was also seen to be safe in monkeys.

No signs of spontaneous bleeding were seen when the monkeys received extremely high doses of the antibody, according to the study. Since FXI deficiency can be associated with bleeding in humans, the scientists also created another antibody to rapidly reverse the effects of the first.

If developed further, the reversible antibody may create a safer class of anticoagulants, the study concluded.