Nottingham academics develop test for anti-platelet drugs

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Cardiovascular experts at the University of Nottingham have won £40,000 to develop a simple test that will improve the monitoring and care of heart attack and stroke patients.

In England around 110,000 people suffer from a stroke and 1.4 million people exhibit symptoms of cardiovascular disease every year.

According to the University of Nottingham, nearly all these people are treated with anti-platelet agents that are taken daily to prevent a thrombotic incidence occurring, which can lead to another stroke or a heart attack.

The new test kit will measure the effectiveness of these drugs so as to advise doctors whether to adjust the dose or prescribe a different medicine.

Using their own patented technology, the test has been developed by Prof Stan Heptinstall with Dr Sue Fox and Jane May, in the Thrombosis and Haemostasis Research Group in the School of Clinical Sciences.

They now plan to set up a spin-out company, Platelet Solutions, which will work to improve the accuracy and reliability of platelet activity testing and to manufacture and distribute the kits.

Prof Heptinstall said: ‘The test needs no specialist equipment and can be undertaken in a GP’s surgery or any other healthcare setting.

‘We believe the test will provide a simple means of monitoring the effects of anti-platelet drugs, especially in the chronic care setting, and will provide for the growing demand for individualised medicine in patients with cardiovascular disease.’