Inhibiting platelet aggregation slows or stops platelets from clotting. Clotting then results in closing of a coronary artery and causing or exacerbating a heart attack.
We are developing RUC-4, a novel small molecule inhibitor of the platelet αIIbβ3 receptor, designed to be easily administered subcutaneously by auto-injector to facilitate its use as the first point of contact treatment for treating ST Segment Elevated Myocardial Infarction/heart attack.
All three of the currently approved αIIbβ3 antagonist antiplatelet drugs (abciximab, eptifibatide, and tirofiban) require intravenous administration, followed by an ongoing intravenous infusion controlled by a pump, which can be difficult to achieve under urgent conditions.
RUC-4 is differentiated from current αIIbβ3 antagonists because it is based on newer information on the receptor structure and is specifically designed for early and easy administration, rapid onset and short offset.
Orally delivered P2Y12 antagonists such as clopidogrel do not act rapidly enough or uniformly in STEMI as they are poorly absorbed by patients with myocardial infarction. Thus, the onset of their antiplatelet effects is delayed beyond the critical period. Moreover, none of the oral agents is as powerful as the αIIbβ3 antagonists such as RUC-4.
RUC-4, our next generation platelet antagonist, will provide a new immediate treatment for heart attack patients and improve survival and outcome measures.