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 www.stroke.org.
SOURCE National Stroke Association