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Researchers move closer to deciphering blood clots from AstraZeneca, J&J's Covid-19 vaccines - Endpoints News

Researchers move closer to deciphering blood clots from AstraZeneca, J&J's Covid-19 vaccines - Endpoints News

Dec 03, 2021 2 mins, 51 secs

Re­searchers may be near­ing an an­swer for the mys­te­ri­ous and life-threat­en­ing blood clots that ap­peared on very rare oc­ca­sions in peo­ple who re­ceived the J&J or As­traZeneca Covid-19 vac­cine.

They pro­posed the events were sim­i­lar to blood clots that can oc­cur in a small sub­set of pa­tients who re­ceive he­parin, one of the most com­mon­ly used blood thin­ners.

In those pa­tients, he­parin binds to a pro­tein float­ing in the blood called platelet fac­tor 4, or PF4, to form a com­plex.

Peo­ple who took the J&J or As­traZeneca vac­cine and then suf­fered life-threat­en­ing blood clots al­so test pos­i­tive for an­ti-PF4 an­ti­bod­ies, just as pa­tients with he­parin-in­duced clots do.

Af­ter re­ports of the blood clots emerged, Alexan­der Bak­er, a re­searcher at Mayo who fo­cus­es on en­gi­neer­ing virus­es for ther­a­pies and vac­cines, de­cid­ed to take a clos­er look at the As­traZeneca vac­cine’s struc­ture.

“It seemed rea­son­able that there was some kind of in­ter­ac­tion be­tween the vac­cine and [PF4],” Bak­er told End­points News.

If re­searchers can pin down ex­act­ly how they bind to PF4, they might be able to swap out amino acids to pro­duce a virus that’s still func­tion­al for vac­cines but can’t bind to PF4 or cause blood clots.

And the risk of blood clots from Covid-19 — along with all the oth­er risks the dis­ease brings — far out­strips the risk from the shot.

“I think it is super worrisome,” Dartmouth professor and Adagio co-founder and CEO Tillman Gerngross told Endpoints News this weekend.

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Three top biopharma companies are seeking more details from the FDA on how the agency conducts its benefit-risk assessments for new drugs and biologics.

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ENDPOINTS NEWSby John Carroll & team — all the news at 11:30am ET

EARLY EDITIONby Arsalan Arif — news and links at 7:15am ET

ENDPOINTS MANUFACTURINGWeekly biopharma manufacturing report, Thursdays at 2pm ET

ENDPOINTS FDA+Regulatory news and analysis for drug developers, Wednesday 2pm ET


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