Stories worth sharing: Blood clotting factor or clot buster?

Tuesday, April 16, 2019 Dr. Geraldine Walsh

Brought to you in partnership with the Centre for Blood Research, this week's Stories worth sharing is focused on research into a new class of anticoagulants.

Anticoagulants, or blood thinners, are medicines used to treat patients who experience unwanted or excess blood clotting. Between clotting and bleeding, there exists a delicate balance. If blood cannot clot effectively, the risk of bleeding increases. If blood clots too easily, there is a risk of heart attack, stroke and other serious conditions. 

Recent research being undertaken in Dr. Ed Pryzdial’s laboratory at the University of British Columbia is studying how some of these newer drugs affect the balance between clotting and bleeding.  The anticoagulants being studied are known to specifically target and inhibit a clotting factor called Factor Xa, as well as to decrease the formation of blood clots. 

While Factor Xa’s role in forming clots is well-known, its role in busting clots is much less well-established. In the Pryzdial laboratory they’ve found an additional way in which these drugs may help patients with too much clotting, by enhancing “clot-busting”. The process of clot busting (i.e., dissolving a clot once bleeding has been stopped), is an important way of managing clotting and associated risks. This work sheds light on how factor Xa will enhance clot busting—knowledge, which could be used to design more effective anticoagulant drugs in the future.


Dr. Pryzdial is a Canadian Blood Services scientist and associate director of the Centre for Blood Research at the University of British Columbia. To learn more, read the original blog post by Tseday Tegegn, a PhD student in the Pryzdial Laboratory on the Centre for Blood Research website.

The Centre for Innovation is proud to partner with the Centre for Blood Research to deliver training and education events and support trainees.


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