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Home Technologies A universal antidote for aptamer therapeutics

A universal antidote for aptamer therapeutics

Value Proposition

With an ever increasing number of people taking numerous medications, the need to safely administer drugs and limit unintended side effects has never been greater. Antidote control remains the most direct means to counteract acute side effects of drugs, but unfortunately it has been challenging and cost prohibitive to generate antidotes for most therapeutic agents. Nucleic acid aptamers are widely acknowledged as substitutes or competitors for antibodies in scientific research. A plethora of positive attributes such as high affinity and specificity make aptamers superior to antibodies and engenders a rise in their demand for different medical applications. In order to allow aptamers to be widely adapted as therapeutics, there exists a need for effective antidotes.


Duke inventors have reported a method creating an antidote for any aptamer. This discovery is very important because it demonstrates that protamine, a compound that has been utlized in millions of patients to reverse the anticoagulation effects of heparin, can also be used to reverse the activities of anticoagulation aptamers and probably the activity of any aptamer. These universal antidotes exploit the fact that, when systemically administered, aptamers are the only free extracellular oligonucleotides found in circulation. This technology has been demonstrated in vivo by counteracting aptamer activity.


  • Universal antidote to inhibit the activity of all aptamers
  • Utilizes protamine, an extremely inexpensive antidote with a tremendous amount of clinical experience
  • Provides a means for making aptamers a particularly safe class of therapeutics

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