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BTK inhibitors against vaccine-related thrombotic complications

IPEK scientists propose treatment for rare, life-threatening complication from Astra-Zeneca vaccine.

Certain drugs used in cancer therapy, known as BTK inhibitors, are able to normalize the pathological activation of platelets with associated blood clot formation which occurs in rare cases after vaccination with the Astra-Zeneca COVID-19 vaccine. This is reported by IPEK director Christian Weber  and colleagues in the latest issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. Weber calls the development “an urgently needed way of treating this worrying vaccine complication.” Germany has seen well over twelve and a half million doses of Astra-Zeneca’s Vaxrevia vaccine administered so far, and over 67 million doses have been given EU-wide. The severe side effect known as VITT (vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia) that has been the subject of much attention occurs in about one to one and a half out of 100,000 vaccinations, “so it is a rare but life-threatening side effect with high mortality,” says Weber. Moreover, many more doses of the Astra-Zeneca vaccine have been and are being donated to countries in need around the world, making VITT a global problem.



LMU Press Release

LMU Klinikum Press Release

DZHK Press Release

Deutscher Apotheke Zeitung


NEJM 2021