Skip to main content

The Heart Research Institute’s Thrombosis team, led by Prof Shaun Jackson, has been awarded an almost $1 million Cardiovascular Research Capacity Program grant by the NSW Office for Health and Medical Research (OHMR) to progress a new anti-clotting therapy for stroke.

Around 85 per cent of strokes are caused by a blood clot restricting blood flow to the brain, also known as acute ischaemic stroke. Sixteen million people globally will suffer strokes annually, including 50,000 in Australia alone.

Around 25 per cent of patients require sup­port in their day-to-day activ­i­ties and half expe­ri­ence cog­ni­tive impair­ment at six months.

Existing treatment for stroke is to either use a clot-dissolving drug called tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), or to physically remove the blood clot with a thrombectomy; neither are optimal. Both experience high rates of re-occlusion of unblocked arteries or a failure to fully dissolve the clot. The risk of further bleeding in the brain is raised if the patient is administered additional anti-clotting therapies, therefore driving the need for new, safer anti-clotting therapies.

This grant will fund Thrombosis’ research project “Developing new and innovative antithrombotic approaches to treat ischaemic stroke”, which aims to build on the Group’s previous success in establishing a pipeline of new stroke treatments with an improved safety profile. The funding will allow the team to scale up their skills and resources to synthesise new chemical compounds and test these agents in pre-clinical models of stroke. This will also help facilitate the design of clinical trials using these new agents to improve the outcome of patients with stroke.

This research is made possible by the collaboration of a wide diversity of scientists, experience and skills across biomedical, chemistry and drug development fields, clinical specialists and commercial partners.

  • Prof Richard Payne, Deputy Director of the Centre of Excellence for Innovations in Peptide and Protein Science; School of Chemistry, The University of Sydney
  • Prof Chris Levi, Senior Staff Specialist and Neurologist, John Hunter Hospital
  • Assoc Prof Simone Schoenwaelder, Senior Research Fellow, HRI
  • Dr Xuyu Liu, Unit Leader of Cardiovascular-protective Signalling and Drug Discovery, HRI; School of Chemistry, The University of Sydney
  • Clinical Assoc Prof Candice Delcourt, Program Lead, Neurological Program, Dept Clinical Medicine, Faculty Medicine, Health & Human Sciences, Macquarie University
  • Dr Daniel Ford, CMC Manufacturing and Drug Discovery Consultant, HRI; School of Chemistry, The University of Sydney
  • Assoc Prof Arnold Lining Ju, National Heart Foundation Future Leader Fellow Level 2
  • Dr Jessica Maclean, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, HRI

“It has been essential to bring together international authorities in the haemostasis/thrombosis fields, with world-class stroke clinical trialists, leading stroke physicians, colleagues from HRI, The University of Sydney, the George Institute and leading academic Australian stroke units.

We are all excit­ed by the poten­tial of this new stroke drug and rev­o­lu­tion­is­ing cur­rent treat­ments,” says Prof Jackson.

The Cardiovascular Research Capacity Program supports high-quality cardiovascular researchers to increase national and international competitiveness of NSW cardiovascular research. This drives scientific discoveries, supports the development of novel and innovative therapies and improves health outcomes for patients.

Header image: Thrombosis team

Support HRI

Today's research is tomorrow's cure.

Every donation to the Heart Research Institute is an investment into the lives of millions. Help make a lasting difference by donating today.

Other ways you can help