Medical Breakthrough Gives Hope to Stroke Patients With Deadliest Form of Stroke

    ENGLEWOOD, Colo., June 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Researchers at the 5th
 International Stroke Society World Congress in Vancouver, B.C., today
 announced that a man-made blood clotting drug, recombinant factor VIIa
 (NovoSeven(R)), currently used to treat bleeding in hemophiliacs, is the first
 effective medical treatment for hemorrhagic stroke.  NovoSeven(R) is a
 genetically engineered blood clotting protein derived from baby hamster kidney
 cells.  This Phase II study determined that if NovoSeven(R) is given
 intravenously within four hours of stroke onset, the drug could reduce the
 growth of hematoma, thus limiting the amount of brain tissue damage.
     Intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) occurs when a blood vessel in the brain
 ruptures and blood spills into the brain.  The brain tissue dies at the area
 of the ICH, but blood can also clot causing a hematoma.  The hematoma puts
 pressure on surrounding tissues in the brain causing additional damage and
 disability to the patient.  This worldwide study of 400 patients in a
 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial compares three doses of
 NovoSeven(R) with placebo.  Both long-term and short-term benefits were
 demonstrated for patients treated with NovoSeven(R).
     "This study of NovoSeven(R) is an exciting development that gives us hope
 in furthering the treatment of hemorrhagic stroke, which is the deadliest form
 of stroke," says Dr. Dan Hanley, Chairmen of the National Stroke Association
 Professional Advisory Committee and Professor of Neurology and Neurosurgery at
 John Hopkins Medical Institution.
     ICH accounts for 10 to 15 percent of all strokes.  After the initial
 stroke, the hematoma will continue to grow in more than a third of these
 patients.  More than half of these patients will die.  The protection of
 further bleeding is an important step in lessening the impact of ICH on stroke
 patients.  With each brain cell death, the chance of disability and death
     NovoSeven(R) is not currently registered with the FDA as a stroke
 treatment. Complete analysis and peer review of the data are pending.  Further
 studies will be needed.
     Based in Englewood, Colo., National Stroke Association is a leading,
 independent national nonprofit organization devoting 100 percent of its
 efforts and resources to stroke.  For more information contact NSA at
 1-800-STROKES (767-6537) or visit

SOURCE National Stroke Association

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