Antiphospholipid syndrome occurs when the immune system mistakenly creates antibodies that increase the rates of clots forming in the blood in the legs, kidneys, lungs, and brain, and may lead to dangerously high blood pressure, miscarriage or stillbirth.
The drug defibrotide that promises to treat the condition is a complex mixture of short segments of DNA purified from pig intestine cells and is currently used to treat blockages in the blood vessels of the liver after stem cell transplantation.
In exclusive statements to “Sky News Arabia”, Jason Knight, senior author of the study and associate professor of rheumatology at the University of Michigan, said that he and his team tested whether there was a scientific case for reusing defibrotide to treat severe forms of antiphospholipid syndrome.
A 20-year-old report documented that defibrotide saved a patient with antiphospholipid syndrome who was at risk of stroke, and over the years, doctors continued to point to defibrotide as a potential treatment, but no one has delved into the research, Knight says.
He adds, “The hope was that the research on this condition, might pave the way for a proper clinical trial, and the research proved that defibrotide is very effective in stopping a type of overactive white blood cell in APS cases, called neutrophils, which are responsible for blood clotting. “.
In response to a question about the role of the drug in treating all cases of thrombosis, Knight said: “We have not studied all situations, but we believe that defibrotide is likely to achieve positive results in cases of blood clots that result from cancer, as well as Covid-19.”
As for the drug’s success rate in treating blood clots, Knight points out that they still need to follow the preclinical study with a clinical trial, not only to find out the success rates with patients, but also to determine the smartest ways to find out which patients are likely to get the most benefits. We hope to make significant progress in this regard over the next two years.