Blood clots are formed in sections of a blood vessel in which a wound has occurred. These clots emergency cap serve to prevent blood loss. Sometimes, however, clots completely obstruct an artery or vein and it is due to damage surrounding tissue.
This happens to many people in the world. In the U.S. alone, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each year between 300,000 and 600,000 people suffer deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism (blockage of a pulmonary artery, which is often a result of thrombosis) , and died each year as a result of these complications are between 60,000 and 100,000.
The team of biochemist James H. Morrissey, University of Illinois, has identified a group of small molecules that interfere with the activity of a class of compounds which initiate several steps in the process of blood coagulation, including those leading to obstruction of the veins or arteries. Blocking the activity of this class of compounds, polyphosphates, would treat thrombosis bleeding with less side effects than drugs currently on the market.
The researchers have already tested polyphosphates inhibitors in mice affected by inflammation and arterial or venous thrombosis, and suggest that these inhibitors prevented or reduced thrombosis in these animals, apparently without increasing the risk of bleeding.
Although the compounds identified and tested in the study would not, by themselves, good drug candidates for safe use in patients, they mark the way forward for the development of better drugs.