Novel drug-antidote strategy provides greater control of drug action

a suspected heart attack and during angioplasty procedures. However, since bleeding is a major concern of such anticoagulation, physicians must constantly monitor blood levels to ensure that the drug remains within therapeutic ranges.

"With this new drug-antidote pair, physicians will have a more predictably reversible anticoagulant that is easier to use and will require significantly less monitoring," Rusconi continued.

Rusconi recently left Duke to co-found Regado Biosciences, Inc. with Sullenger. Regado is based in Research Triangle Park, N.C. and has venture backing from the Durham-based Aurora funds. The company has licensed the antidote technology as well as the factor IXa aptamer-antidote pair, known as REG1, from Duke, and plans to initiate clinical testing of REG1 early next year.

"An advance such as this is a perfect example of translational medicine, where clinicians work with basic scientists to solve the problems facing physicians," said Sullenger, who is director of Duke's Center for Translational Research. "Clinicians typically are not as well versed in molecular biology as we are, and we may not have conceived of this approach had we not spent time talking to clinicians about their needs."

Other Duke members of the research team were George Pitoc, Shahid Nimjee, Rebekah White, M.D., George Quick, and Elizabeth Scardino. Joseph Roberts and William Fay from the University of Michigan were also part of the team.


Contact: Richard Merritt
Duke University Medical Center

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