Author: Anne Long

HMRI to conduct world-wide trial into 'stroke-buster' drug Tenecteplase

A new drug being tested by Hunter Medical Research Institute to combat stroke could lower treatment side-effects and lead to faster rehabilitation, writes Greater Charitable Foundation CEO Anne Long.

HMRI has a rich history of conducting ground-breaking research which provides positive, real world change in the lives of patients, and their latest clinical trial is no different, focusing on improving treatment for stroke patients.

Stroke is the number one cause of disability and the third leading cause of death in Australia, and is most commonly caused by a clot in the artery in the brain leading to a lack of blood flow which causes damage.

HMRI’s latest clinical trial focuses on treatment therapies for stroke patients, with new clot-busting drug Tenecteplase being tested in 50 centres world-wide including in Taiwan, USA, Canada and the UK.

The Phase 3 Clinical trial will pit Tenecteplase against the drug most commonly used to treat stroke-causing clots, Alteplase.

Alteplase is the routine treatment around the world, but can sometimes prove an ineffective clot-dissolving agent, and can sometimes take a number of hours to completely dissolve clots, increasing potential for damage.

Tenecteplase, the new drug being trialled, is akin to a cousin of Alteplase. It has been found to be much more effective at opening up clots sooner, and at limiting bleeding into the brain. Past trials have shown 66% of Tenecteplase patients showed major improvement within 24 hours, compared with 36% for Alteplase patients.

If the Phase 3 trial is a success, its is hoped that treatment protocols will alter to include Tenecteplase as the 'drug of choice' to treat stroke patients around Australia and the world.

HMRI is a partner of the Greater Charitable Foundation. The Greater Building Society was an inaugural Foundation Circle Partner of HMRI. Funding of HMRI transferred to the Foundation when it was established by The Greater in 2011.  Together, The Greater and Foundation have provided more than $1.3M on behalf of Greater customers to fund HMRI’s ground-breaking and important research for our community.