University of York makes blood thinning drug breakthrough

08th July 2019

University of York makes blood thinning drug breakthrough

RESEARCHERS at the University of York have developed a new way to safely remove a blood-thinning drug used during surgery that can lead to harmful side-effects in recovering patients.

Heparin is a drug used during major surgery for blood-thinning, however, once surgery is complete, the heparin must be removed so clotting, and healing, can begin.


This is currently achieved using a medication called protamine, which binds to heparin and removes it from the bloodstream. The protamine protein can, however, have adverse effects on patients, including low blood pressure, slow heart rate and allergic reactions.

Researchers at the University of York investigated whether a synthetic version of protamine could do the same job, reducing the potentially harmful side-effects.

Professor David Smith, from the university, said: “We decided to change the ‘molecular glue’ that stuck our assembly together.

“This created a much more stable structure and enhanced the binding to heparin. Our goal now is to test this in model systems, and hopefully move towards clinical use.”

For the full story please see the York Press website.