Helping people lead fuller, richer, more productive lives
According to the March of Dimes, every ten minutes a Canadian will have a stroke. A stroke occurs when blood stops flowing to any part of your brain, resulting in the damaging of brain cells. The effects of a stroke depend on the part of the brain that was damaged and the amount of damage done. According to the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada, one-quarter of Canadians living with the effects of a stroke are under age 65, and stroke prevalence rises sharply after age 55.
What are the risks?
What can you do to help prevent a stroke?
Every minute counts in a stroke emergency!
Time is of vital importance when someone suffers a stroke. In fact, the longer the delay before treatment begins, the more damage to the brain tissue. This makes it all the more important to be aware of the warning signs, or what a stroke looks like, and waste no time in getting to the hospital.
The sudden occurrence of one or more of the following may be symptoms of a stroke:
It is important to point out that it is the sudden onset of one or more of the above that may be associated with a stroke. Slowly developing problems in any of these areas are likely not attributable to a stroke.
The most common type of stroke
The most common type of stroke is known as an ischemic stroke, accounting for about 87% of all strokes. An ischemic stroke occurs when an interruption in blood flow is caused by a blood clot or other particles blocking the arteries that carry blood to the brain. Our previous blog post took a look at the existing treatment options, as well as promising treatments in development, for ischemic stroke.
Stroke Awareness Month is held annually in Canada to raise awareness and funds to support research and care for individuals who have experienced a stroke. To learn more about what you can do to help, visit the Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation’s website at www.heartandstroke.ca/get-involved/events.
In our blog post earlier this month, we outlined five quick facts about ischemic stroke. Ischemic stroke occurs when an artery to the brain is blocked, in which case the brain cells cannot make enough energy and will eventually stop working. If the artery remains blocked for more than a few minutes, the brain cells may die. This is why immediate medical treatment is critical.
Ischemic stroke can be caused by many things. The most common cause is narrowing of the arteries in the neck or head. When the arteries become too narrow, blood cells may collect and form blood clots. Another common cause of stroke is blood clots in the heart, which can occur as a result of heart attack, irregular heartbeat, or abnormalities of the heart valves. Other possible causes include, but are not limited to, traumatic injury to the blood vessels of the neck, or disorders of blood clotting, and the use of street drugs.
The existing standard of care
Presently, the only FDA approved treatment for ischemic strokes is tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, which works by dissolving the blood clot and improving blood flow to the part of the brain being deprived of blood flow. In general, if tPA is administered within three to four and a half hours following a stroke, it may improve the chances of recovery. Unfortunately, a significant number of stroke victims don’t get to the hospital in time for tPA treatment, underscoring the importance of identifying a stroke immediately.
Patients who meet certain criteria may be eligible for an endovascular procedure called mechanical thrombectomy, in which doctors try removing a large blood clot by sending a wired-caged device called a stent retriever, to the site of the blocked blood vessel in the brain. To remove the clot, a catheter is threaded into an artery in the groin and up through the neck, until it reaches the blood clot causing the stroke. Using x-ray guided imaging, a stent retriever is inserted into the catheter. The stent reaches past the clot, expands to stretch the walls of the artery so blood can flow, and is “retrieved” – or pulled backwards – which removes the clot. When used in conjunction with tPA (which has a limited time window for effectiveness) and medical treatments, this method significantly reduces stroke-related disability and mortality.
Kailikang® is a human urine extracted KLK1 protein marketed by Techpool Bio-Pharma Inc., which we
believe has been approved for the treatment of ischemic stroke in China with a treatment window of up to 48 hours post-stroke. More than 40 published clinical studies conducted by diverse groups have demonstrated a beneficial effect of Kailikang® treatment in acute ischemic stroke, including a comprehensive meta-analysis covering 24 clinical studies involving 2,433 patients, which concludes that “[human urinary KLK1] appears to ameliorate neurological deficits for patients with AIS and to improve long-term outcomes, though a few treated patients suffered from transient hypotension.” (Journal of Evidence-Based Medicine. 2012 Feb;5(1):31-9)
DM199 – a new hope
At DiaMedica Therapeutics, we are developing DM199, a recombinant (synthetic) human protein, for patients suffering from neurological and kidney diseases. DM199 has undergone clinical testing that demonstrates its exceptional safety as a potential treatment for a variety of disorders.
DM199 is being positioned to treat acute ischemic stroke patients with therapy beginning up to 48 hours after the first sign of symptoms, thereby filling a large unmet need of patients who cannot receive tPA and potentially replacing Kailikang® in China. We believe that our proprietary DM199 protein allows for a higher purity and lower cost of goods product in comparison to Kailikang® while also addressing any potential supply constraints which makes Kailikang® potentially difficult and expensive to produce with the limited source of human urine. We believe these factors better position DM199 for regulatory approval worldwide, as a recombinant protein is able to meet the rigorous manufacturing standards required for approval in comparison to a urine-derived protein.
For more information on acute ischemic stroke and DM199, please visit our website at www.diamedica.com/product-candidates/dm199-acute-ischemic-stroke. We look forward to sharing more details about DM199 in future blog posts, so stay tuned… or subscribe to our RSS feed.
DiaMedica Therapeutics is a publicly traded, clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company. We are listed in Canada on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol "DMA" and trade in the United States on the OTCQB under the symbol "DMCAF." For more information on our public listings or other investor information, please contact Mr. Paul Papi, Vice President, Business Development, by telephone at (763) 496-5151, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
May is Stroke Awareness Month, and so we thought we would take the opportunity to share some quick facts about the most common type of stroke --- ischemic strokes.
According to the U.S. National Stroke Association, ischemic strokes account for about 87% of all strokes.
Ischemic stroke is characterized by the sudden loss of blood circulation to an area of the brain, resulting in a corresponding loss of neurologic function.
Ischemic stroke represents an area of tremendous unmet medical need. That’s why we at DiaMedica Therapeutics are focused on advancing our clinical compound, DM199 – a synthetic KLK1 protein being developed to treat ischemic stroke patients in China as an improved product over the urine-sourced KLK1 protein currently used there. DiaMedica also intends to seek worldwide approval for DM199 as a novel therapy for acute ischemic stroke. We believe that DM199 may one day fill a large unmet need for stroke patients who cannot receive tPA, benefiting millions of people around the world who currently have limited treatment options.
Learn more about ischemic stroke on our website at http://www.diamedica.com/product-candidates/dm199-acute-ischemic-stroke and on the National Stroke Association’s website at www.stroke.org.
We are excited to welcome you to the DiaMedica Blog. We intend to use this space to help you get to know us better – by providing more insight into the latest developments in our business – and to create more awareness for the conditions we treat. Our mission is helping people lead fuller, richer, more productive lives. Our focus is on neurological and kidney diseases.
This is a defining time for DiaMedica Therapeutics and we are thrilled to have you as a shareholder and witness as we advance our therapeutic platform.
Last December, we completed Part A of our bridging clinical study. We are delighted to have identified a dose of DM199 (synthetic KLK1) that could provide sustained therapeutic levels of DM199 and corresponding pharmacodynamic activity that is comparable to the approved human urinary KLK1 protein treatment (the “reference drug”) for acute ischemic stroke in Asia. We estimate that over 200,000 patients are treated each year with porcine and human urinary derived forms of the KLK1 protein in Asia with total estimated sales of over $200 million U.S. for the treatment of kidney disease and stroke in light of all the challenges of sourcing impure protein.
In March of this year, we completed Part B of our bridging clinical study and reported an improved subcutaneous dose of DM199 producing sustained plasma levels superior to the reference drug. We plan to use the results of this study to guide Phase II dosing in upcoming clinical trials.
Stay tuned for more news on our strategic direction and milestones as we continue to pursue our mission and advance the clinical development of DM199 and the rest of our pipeline. Subscribe to our RSS Feed for future blog posts and follow us on Twitter.
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