RNA aptamer reopens blocked arteries

Blocked artery

Biopharmaceutical company Basking Biosciences has revealed positive Phase I study results for its reversible thrombolytic therapeutic for ischaemic stroke. 

The company’s novel von Willebrand Factor (vWF)-targeting thrombolytic agent, BB-031 demonstrated safety and tolerability following a single intravenous dose.  

The study results were presented at the American Heart Association International Stroke Conference (ISC) 2023 in Dallas, Texas. 

Shahid M Nimjee, co-founder and Chief Medical Officer of Basking, and Associate Professor and practicing neurosurgeon at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, said: “BB-031 is an RNA aptamer that targets vWF. Non-clinical studies in multiple gold-standard animal models have demonstrated BB-031 can quickly recanalise blocked blood vessels in the brain as late as six hours after stroke onset. Moreover, they also demonstrated reduced infarct volume on MRI in all models.” 

Basking is developing BB-031 as a potential solution to the major unmet need in acute thrombosis for a rapid-onset, short-acting drug that is capable of quickly reopening blocked arteries.  

The thrombolytic activity of BB-031 is designed to be quickly neutralised in the event of bleeding using a complementary agent, BB-025, which the company is developing in tandem. 

“The results of this successful placebo-controlled safety study of BB-031 in 40 healthy participants lay a strong foundation for planned further clinical trials in patients experiencing acute thrombotic conditions,” said Richard Shea, Chief Executive Officer of Basking. “We are now preparing to initiate a Phase II clinical proof-of-concept study in patients suffering an acute ischaemic stroke with the ultimate goal of being able to safely and effectively treat a much greater number of stroke patients than is possible today.” 

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