IT BEGAN its life humbly, one of a family of copolymers with detergentlike properties useful as immunoadjuvants and emulsifiers. Now this compound, called Rheoth-Rx™ may be poised to join forces with one of medicine's marquee stars, tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA), and its clot-busting fibrinolytic companions.
Researchers foresee the copolymer improving the effectiveness of fibrinolytics while reducing the dose. In turn, this could lessen the risks of hemorrhage associated with the clot busters. Says Gary S. Roubin, MD, research director of the Andreas Gruentzig Cardiovascular Center at Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Ga, and noted expert in balloon angioplasty, "The sooner we get this into clinical trials, the better. There's a constant problem of thrombosis [in clinical cardiology] and if Rheoth-Rx is proven effective, we would be using it routinely in every angioplasty case with potential for thrombotic problems."
He notes that while antithrombin peptides now being developed are also