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New heart attack drug trialled in Birmingham

A new partnership between BHP clinical-academic institutions and Acticor Biotech will see patients with heart attacks treated with glenzocimab, a promising new class of drug, for the first time.

The drug – which has potential to improve the long-term outcomes for heart attack patients – will be trialled in two UK acute care hospitals: the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham and the Northern General Hospital, Sheffield.The trial will be run at the University of Birmingham with expert clinicians from the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, bringing together clinical trials expertise from two founding members of BHP.

The randomised, double-blind Phase 2b LIBERATE study will recruit more than 200 patients to test the tolerance and the efficacy of glenzocimab 1000 mg, versus placebo, to reduce heart damage following a myocardial infarction (MI), commonly known as a heart attack. Bringing together experience in running multi-site trials from the Clinical Trials Units and expertise in heart diseases, the team will see whether glenzocimab will reduce the amount of dead heart tissue in patients following an ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), the most serious type of heart attack.

Professor Jon Townend, Consultant Cardiologist at University Hospitals Birmingham, Honorary Professor of Cardiology in the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences at the University of Birmingham, and Chief Investigator of the trial said: “We look forward to starting this exciting trial of a new drug for heart attacks which are still only too common.

“Although immediate opening of the blocked coronary artery by angioplasty in cases of heart attack is now routine, significant heart damage still occurs. Glenzocimab reduces clot formation and laboratory findings have been impressive.

“There are strong reasons to believe that this new drug may improve outcomes and this randomised blinded trial is the right way to test this theory.”

Dr Mark Thomas, Associate Professor of Cardiology at the University of Birmingham and Honorary Consultant Cardiologist, who designed the trial and led its development, said: “This trial will help us establish whether glenzocimab is a safe and effective drug for preventing the kind of clotting that can lead to serious damage to the heart following a heart attack.

“We’re delighted to work with Acticor Biotech to see whether this new class of drug has the potential to improve the outcomes of our patients with heart attacks. While the immediate care provided for a heart attack is effective for improving patient survival, there is more we can do to prevent long-term damage to the heart.”

Gilles Avenard, Chief Executive Officer and founder of Acticor Biotech said: Glenzocimab has already delivered very promising results in the treatment of acute ischemic stroke and we hope to confirm its therapeutics potential in another severe indication.

“We are proud of this Phase 2b study launch, which allows glenzocimab development programme extension to myocardial infarction. We would like to congratulate all the teams involved, the University of Birmingham particularly, sponsor of this study.”

Glenzocimab, a humanized monoclonal antibody (mAb) fragment directed against the platelet Glycoprotein VI (GPVI), was developed by Acticor Biotech for the treatment of cardiovascular emergencies, including stroke.

This new drug, currently being trialled for strokes, stops the functioning of platelets that cause abnormal clotting of blood. While platelet function is normally important to stop bleeding, this drug specifically targets only dangerous clotting inside damaged blood vessels called thrombosis that can cause strokes and heart attacks.