CSIR’s new clot buster, PEGylated Streptokinase holds great promise for brain strokes

Developed by the Chandigarh based CSIR-IMTECH, the patented PEGylated Streptokinase for treatment of Ischemic Stroke will be further developed and marketed by Epygen Biotech, Mumbai under an exclusive agreement


New Delhi: The Ischemic stroke (also called brain stroke) is a condition caused by a dysfunction in the supply of blood to the brain due to emboli, thrombus or atherosclerosis occurring in cerebral arteries.

According to the American Stroke Association (ASA), brain strokes are the second leading cause of death in the world with a staggering 15 million people effected causing 11 million people either die or become permanently disabled.

Surprisingly, the prevalence of stroke is much higher in India than the West and about 87 percent of all strokes are ischemic strokes.

Now in a good news for such patients, the new Clot buster, PEGylated Streptokinase – a novel biological entity developed at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) affiliated Chandigarh based institute, the Institute of Microbial Technology (IMTECH), is all set to revolutionize the treatment of ischemic strokes.

The patented drug has been discovered due to the research and development efforts put by Dr Girish Sahni, Director General, CSIR and Secretary, DSIR and his team of inventors at CSIR.

Dr Anil Koul, Director, CSIR-IMTECH, Dr Girish Sahni, DG, CSIR and Mr Debayan Ghosh, President, Epygen.

Taking the step forward towards bringing the product into the market, the CSIR-IMTECH and Epygen Biotech, Mumbai, have entered into an agreement for the latter to develop PEGylated Streptokinase for treatment of Ischemic Stroke.

Epygen is the first company in India with exclusive license of this Novel Biological Entity (NBE) thrombolytic protein for ischemic stroke. The biopharmaceutical company is engaged in research and manufacturing of Therapeutic Proteins for Oncology, Cardiovascular and Immune disorders.

PEGylated Streptokinase, the novel recombinant protein thrombolytic molecule has been precisely engineered through decades of research for enhanced proteolytic stability and extended plasma half-life, fibrin-specificity and associated clot specificity, with reduced immuno-reactivity which would be significant attributes with unmistakable clinical advantages such as reduced probability of hemorrhage over current treatment regimens of thrombolytic drugs for acute stroke.

The new drug brings huge advantages with a potential to transform the way ischemic stroke, deep-vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism and acute myocardial infarction are treated around the globe, especially in the developing world.

Since the development of the drug has been government funded, it also brings the hopes that the final product would be affordable for masses. The agreement with an indigenous firm for the final development and marketing also shows that the Public Private Partnership could be always used to give wings to translational research. Following such examples, India surely needs more dedicated researchers and collaborations.