Thrombosis Journal recently attended the ISTH XXIV Congress, which was held in Amsterdam from 29 June to 4 July. The ISTH Congress is the biennial conference of the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis, which also incorporates their annual Scientific and Standardization Committee. At the congress thousands of the world’s leading experts on thrombosis, haemostasis and vascular biology come together to present the most recent advances, exchange the latest science and discuss the newest clinical applications designed to improve patient care. The conference started with a bang in a fantastic opening ceremony where the new ISTH logo was unveiled, and the Robert P. Grant Medal was awarded to Charles T. Esmon for his outstanding research accomplishments in the area of blood clotting and inflammation.
The congress then began in earnest with the presentation of many new and interesting results. Thrombosis is when a blood clot forms inside a blood vessel. Anticoagulant therapy is used to prevent and treat thrombosis but this does present the risk of bleeding. Trevor Baglin and colleagues presented the discovery of a new antibody that promotes anticoagulation without an increased risk of bleeding. It is thought that this antibody could be the template for a new therapy where antithrombotic and bleeding effects are separated. The congress also saw a lot of discussion around new anticoagulants, and there was a great deal of excitement around a new publication from the AMPLIFY study. The lead author of the article, Giancarlo Agnelli, discussed the results of the study, which found that the new anticoagulant drug apixaban (Eliquis, Pfizer/Bristol-Myers Squibb) was as effective as current therapies but safer in that it caused less bleeding.
With all the buzz around new anticoagulants it only seemed apt to launch the Thrombosis Journal thematic series ‘Insights into new anticoagulants’ while the ISTH Congress was taking place. The ISTH Congress also saw the announcement of World Thrombosis Day, which will take place in 2014 and will be “a coordinated effort to reduce the burden of disease through the promotion of research, communication, action education and evaluation“. A date has yet to be set but expect more announcements from the ISTH later this year and about the meeting of the Scientific and Standardization Committee in Milwaukee June 2014.
Shane Canning, Journal Development Editor, Thrombosis Journal