Australian researchers have created a first-in-class antibody designed to prevent clotting.

Monash University experts say their new antibody inhibits one particular blood-borne protein to prevent clot formation, or thrombosis, without potential adverse side effects.

It was engineered to only detect and block the pathological form of the Von Willebrand Factor (VWF) blood protein, and is able to stop pathological thrombosis that can cause heart attacks and strokes.

Currently, clinicians face a delicate balance of drug efficacy versus bleeding side effects.

“Our engineered antibody is purposely designed to not interfere with normal blood clotting so we expect that it can be used at a much higher and effective dose compared to existing therapies,” says researchers Dr Erik Westein.

The next step will be to test the efficiency of the antibody in small animal models to understand how it works in a complex living system, analogous to a human.