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Jessica Smagacz
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Drug from Magnolia Tree May Help Avert Blood Clots

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U.S. News and World Report reported that a drug derived from magnolia trees appears to be able to prevent blood clots. This came from a phase 2 study conducted by researchers at the Duke Clinical Research Institute.

In this particular study, the trial included 1,030 people. They are aged 45 years or older and are scheduled to undergo either percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) or angiography and then PCI.

PCI is a procedure to clear clogged arteries and keep them open with stents. “People having PCI are usually prescribed drugs, such as aspirin or clopidogrel, to prevent potentially dangerous blood clots.”

In this study, participants were randomly assigned to receive one of three doses of this new drug (SCH 530348) or to receive a placebo. “Aspirin and clopidogrel were not prescribed as part of the study but were allowed, and 95 percent of people in the study took both drugs.”

The results: the new drug generally was tolerable at all levels of dosage and did not increase bleeding. However, bleeding did occur in two percent of the 129 people who took 10 mg, in three percent of those who took 20 mg, in four percent of those who took 40 mg and in three percent of the placebo group.

The Lancet published the findings online on March 14th. This study was funded by Schering-Plough.

SCH 530348 appears to “uncouple two important functions of thrombin in the formation of blood clots” and it may “offer a better way to control bleeding and blot clot formation during PCI.”

Phase 3 of the study is now underway with this new drug.