Aiming to make life-saving stroke care TIMELESS
Baptist Stroke & Cerebrovascular Center is the first in the world to enroll patient in a clinical trial investigating the effectiveness of a clot-busting drug up to 24 hours after stroke symptom onset.
May 13, 2019 | Jacksonville, FL
Ischemic stroke, where a blood clot blocks a blood vessel in the brain, is the fifth-leading cause of death in the U.S. and the leading cause of serious, long-term disability. When blood flow to the brain is halted, brain cells begin to die within minutes.
Not all stroke victims make it to the hospital quickly enough to receive the blood clot-busting drug tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), the only FDA-approved pharmaceutical drug for acute ischemic stroke. The intravenous (IV) medication works by dissolving the clot and improving blood flow to the brain, but only if patients receive it within three hours of symptom onset.
Now, a new clinical trial, fittingly called TIMELESS, is testing the effectiveness of an investigational drug designed to extend the window in which a stroke patient could benefit from a clot-busting pharmaceutical drug.
“Most of the stroke patients we are seeing in our emergency rooms do not qualify for tPA because of the limited time window,” said neurosurgeon Ricardo Hanel, MD, co-medical director of the Stroke & Cerebrovascular Center at Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville. “The new study is investigating the effectiveness of tenecteplase in certain strokes from 4.5 to 24 hours after symptom onset.”
The investigational drug (tenecteplase or TNKase®) is administered with a 5-second rapid injection.
“We say ‘time is brain’ because every minute counts toward a better recovery when it comes to stroke,” emphasized interventional neurologist Nima Aghaebrahim, MD, primary stroke director of the Stroke & Cerebrovascular Center at Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville.
The FDA approved the TIMELESS trial for enrollment and Baptist Health was the first center in the world to register patients in the new study. Only 90 centers in the U.S. and Canada are expected to take part in the clinical trial, predicted to last three years.
TIMELESS is one of more than 35 clinical trials for cerebrovascular disease, including stroke and aneurysm, at Baptist Health. Since its founding five years ago, Baptist Stroke & Cerebrovascular Center has brought together internationally recognized neurosurgeons, multidisciplinary clinical teams and the latest technologies and research.
“Clinical trials provide our patients with unique access to the latest technologies and research in stoke care,” said neurosurgeon Eric Sauvageau, MD, co-medical director of the Stroke & Cerebrovascular Center at Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville. “We’re focused on fighting the devastating impact of stroke on patients and families in our region.”