Making Progress in Stroke
This article was originally published in Start Up
Few effective treatments exist for acute ischemic stroke, but not for lack of effort. Pharmaceutical approaches have been extremely disappointing; more than a handful of companies have been forced to stop work on a drug already in Phase III trials. Device innovators are more optimistic; they believe that their devices might help improve patient outcomes when combined with drugs. The devices could be used to get the drug directly to the site of the clot that causes the stroke and to prepare the clot to receive and absorb the thrombolytic rapidly. Other device companies are working in the field of temperature management, aiming to achieve hypothermia. Challenges remain great, and include the lack of infrastructure for diagnosing patients in a timely fashion and treating them once they arrive in a hospital ER; the difficulty of recruiting eligible patients for clinical trials; and the complexities of the disease. But a small number of device companies are in early clinical trials, albeit moving at a glacial pace.
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