Using Affimer technology to develop therapeutic targets to treat heart attacks and strokes in high-risk patients

Dr Ramzi Ajjan is an Associate Professor and clinician, working with high-risk patients suffering from diabetes. 

An issue that many patients with diabetes face is an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, such as heart attacks and strokes.  The formation of blood clots in blood vessels can cause heart attacks. Dr Ajjan’s work involves trying to reduce the formation of blood clots to reduce heart attacks and stokes in these high risk patients. 
We spoke to Dr Ajjan about how Affimer technology is transforming his research: 
“Having worked with Affimer technology for some time now I am absolutely astonished by what we can do with these molecules. We have been trying for years to reduce blood clot formation. However this is very challenging because clots are made up of a complex network of fibrin fibres and the cells get trapped in this network. If the network can be made less compact it is easier to break down.”
This highly challenging area, requiring novel new approaches, is what prompted Dr Ajjan to try using Affimer technology. “After a screening process, we identified a number of Affimer reagents that are helping to break down clots in people with diabetes.“
The progress made has been highly encouraging to date. “I have been extremely impressed by the results we’ve got using Affimer technology. Other people have too. We recently applied for a grant to fund further work and were successful. In addition to being awarded the funds the feedback from the grant application was extremely positive. They felt Affimer reagents were a novel and promising way to progress research into in reducing heart attacks and strokes in this high risk population.”
“The work we have done with Affimer technology simply would not have been possible with antibodies. The large number of Affimer reagents we screened would not have been technically possible using antibodies. But we’ve now been able to identify new therapeutic targets.”
Watch the video below, where Dr Ajjan talks about how Affimer technology has transformed his research.