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 | 
Oct 15, 2007
 |  BioCentury  |  Emerging Company Profile

BioVascular: Platelet mediation

Preventing vascular graft failure by pharmaceutical means is not an area that has seen much success, but BioVascular Inc. hopes its saratin can prevent the buildup of platelets inside blood vessels that often causes graft failure. The company expects interim data from a pair of European Phase I/II trials next year.

Saratin is a recombinant version of a 12-kD polypeptide derived from leech saliva that helps keep the blood vessel open after the worm has grabbed onto the host. The molecule antagonizes von Willebrand factor (vWF), "which normally activates platelets to tether to collagen fibrils located on the blood vessel wall and is the cause of the thickening and ultimate closing of the vessel" due to intimal hyperplasia, said President and CEO John Parrish.

The protein was identified and produced recombinantly in yeast by Merck KGaA (FSE:MRK, Darmstadt, Germany). But the pharma...

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