Developing a novel antithrombotic in the academic environment
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In recent years, academic research institutions have increasingly sought to commercialize their discoveries, providing the opportunity to raise venture capital and benefit financially from their developments. In the last 6 years, Hamilton Civic Hospitals Research Center, affiliated with McMaster University, Ontario, Canada, has set up two companies, Vascular Therapeutics and Osteokine, to commercialize its discoveries in thrombosis and osteoporosis. Epidemiological evidence shows a continuing socioeconomic burden of both of these disorders, thereby offering opportunities for new drug development. Key areas in the field of thrombosis include novel parenteral anticoagulants to replace heparin as adjunctive therapy in acute coronary syndromes, safer and more practical oral anticoagulants that do not require monitoring to replace coumarins, and oral antiplatelet drugs for use in combination with aspirin. Since their creation, Vascular Therapeutics and Osteokine have attracted major funding and developed several patentable compounds that show clinical and commercial promise.