Scientists from the Clinique Val d’Hebron have shown that the drug ApTOLL protects brain tissue from damage after a stroke and can significantly increase the survival of patients. The results of the study were presented at the International Stroke Conference in Dallas .
The most common type of stroke is ischemic, in which a blood clot blocks a blood vessel in the brain. The study involved 150 people with ischemic stroke (mean age 70 years).
All patients underwent mechanical thrombus removal within six hours of the onset of stroke symptoms. Some also received tissue plasminogen activator. This drug is effective in preventing paralysis or speech problems after a stroke, but only for up to 4.5 hours after the onset of symptoms.
Patients then received either placebo or ApTOLL. The risk of dying from a stroke was four times lower among people who received high doses of ApTOLL compared to those who received a placebo. In addition, in these patients, the area of damaged brain tissue decreased by 40%.
64% of people who received a high dose of ApTOLL had no signs of disability 90 days after their stroke. In the placebo group, this figure was 47%.
For the first time, a neuroprotective drug has demonstrated not only a biological benefit by reducing the volume of damaged brain tissue, but also a real reduction in the risks of long-term disability and death. However, the study was small, and previously many drugs that were effective in early clinical trials did not show benefit in larger patient cohorts.
The study was funded by AptaTargets SL, which manufactures the drug. Results are considered preliminary until publication in a peer-reviewed journal.