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Basque Research Elhuyar - Zientzia

BASQUE RESEARCH
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Mª Isabel Solana García
Universidad de Navarra
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Universidad de Navarra

2007/1/15

Researchers from the CIMA of the University of Navarra have discovered a possible cause of thrombosis

A team of researchers from the CIMA of the University of Navarra has discovered a possible cause of thrombosis, and has developed a new diagnostic test for this disease. The scientific project was undertaken in the Hemostasis and Thrombosis Laboratory. Based on this advance, Digna Biotech, the biotechnology firm that develops the patents obtained by the CIMA, has signed an agreement with the pharmaceutical firm Ferrer Internacional. This alliance will permit the commercialization, perhaps this year, of the new diagnostic test.

Thrombosis is a disease provoked by the appearance of a thrombus or blood clot, which totally or partially blocks the flow of blood. This pathology constitutes one of the principal causes of death. The researchers from the area of Cardiovascular Sciences of the CIMA base the new diagnostic test on the detection of EPCR antibodies, a substance that protects the blood vessels against obstruction by a thrombus.

Useful for young women suffering heart attack or multiple miscarriages

At the moment, this diagnostic test may be useful in the treatment of young women who have suffered a myocardial infarction or who have suffered multiple miscarriages due to thrombosis in the placenta. Research is continuing concerning other pathologies, where the biological basis of the disease is thrombosis, such as strokes and pulmonary embolisms. In the future, the new test may serve to design more effective antithrombotic treatments.

The project’s scientists explained that the C protein system constitutes one of the principal mechanisms for avoiding thrombosis in humans, and that the presence of the endothelial protein receptor C (EPCR) is necessary for its correct functioning. The researchers from the CIMA of the University of Navarra have demonstrated the existence of anti-EPCR autoantibodies which impede the antithrombotic function of this system. In addition, they have demonstrated that elevated levels of anti-EPCR antibodies in the serum and plasma of the patients is related to an increased risk of suffering new thrombotic phenomena.

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