The first clinical trial to study glenzocimab, a new drug for heart attacks, which could help reduce heart damage and improve patients’ long-term outcomes, promises a new class of drugs for the condition if successful.
The study is a partnership between the University of Birmingham and Acticor Biotech. It will recruit over 200 patients to test the tolerance and the efficacy of 1000mg of glenzocimab versus placebo, to reduce heart damage following an ST segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), the most serious type of heart attack.
The world’s first clinical trial of glenzocimab
The researchers in the Phase IIb trial will observe whether glenzocimab, a humanised monoclonal antibody (mAb) fragment directed against the platelet Glycoprotein VI (GPVI), decreases the amount of dead heart tissue in patients. LIBERATE, the randomised, double-blind study will take place at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham and the Northern General Hospital in Sheffield.
Dr Mark Thomas, Associate Professor of Cardiology at the University of Birmingham and Honorary Consultant Cardiologist, the study’s designer and development lead stated: “This trial will help us establish whether glenzocimab is a safe and effective drug for preventing the kind of clotting that can lead to serious damage to the heart following a heart attack.”
Professor Jon Townend, Consultant Cardiologist at University Hospitals Birmingham, Honorary Professor of Cardiology in the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences at the University of Birmingham and Chief Investigator of the trial commented: “Although immediate opening of the blocked coronary artery by angioplasty in cases of heart attack is now routine, significant heart damage still occurs. Glenzocimab reduces clot formation and laboratory findings have been impressive. There are strong reasons to believe that this new drug may improve outcomes and this randomised blinded trial is the right way to test this theory.”
Glenzocimab’s potential to reduce heart damage after myocardial infarction
The drug was developed by Acticor Biotech for cardiovascular emergencies, including stroke. Currently being trialled for strokes, it stops the functioning of platelets that cause abnormal clotting of blood. While platelet function is normally important to stop bleeding, glenzocimab specifically targets only dangerous clotting inside damaged blood vessels called thrombosis that can cause strokes and heart attacks.
Gilles Avenard, Chief Executive Officer and founder of Acticor Biotech explained: “Glenzocimab has already delivered very promising results in the treatment of acute ischemic stroke and we hope to confirm its therapeutics potential in another severe indication. We are proud of this Phase IIb study launch, which allows glenzocimab development programme extension to myocardial infarction (MI).”
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