Over 60% of all cardiovascular patients are believed to suffer from microvascular thrombosis. Existing thrombolytics are not applicable for these patients, as their key target fibrin is missing. Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) is a rare, but life-threatening autoimmune disease. Patients experience attacks of systemic microvascular thrombosis which becomes lethal when left untreated. The current therapy consists of excessive plasma exchange and immune-suppressive treatment. For each attack, treatment takes five days on average and costs EUR100-150k. Despite this treatment, 36% of TTP patients experience relapses and the mortality rate is estimated 10-20%.
We at TargED have developed MICROLYSE, an innovative fusion-protein that has an antibody domain that recognizes microthrombi and an enzymatic domain that breaks them down. In vitro experiments advocate that MICROLYSE can shorten the attack duration of TTP to less than one day. MICROLYSE has the capacity to target all forms of microvascular thrombosis and could also be applied in early-stage macrovascular thrombosis as seen in heart attacks and stroke. This will make MICROLYSE the first treatment option for both macro- and microvascular thrombosis.