The ability to stem blood loss by localised clotting at the site of injury, whilst retaining normal blood fluidity in the circulation, relies on a delicate balance between procoagulant and anticoagulant factors in blood plasma.
If this balance is disturbed through inherited or acquired influences it can lead to excessive blood loss or to a tendency to thrombosis. Inherited influences include the coagulation factor VIII deficiency associated with Haemophilia A and the antithrombin deficiency associated with thrombophilia. Coagulation imbalance may also be induced through acquired auto-immune antibodies to coagulation factors or by the progression of cardiovascular disease / atheroma which can trigger thrombotic events associated with myocardial infarction or stroke.
Our Haemostasis Section focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of blood coagulation disorders.
We work on issues around:
- bleeding disorders such as haemophilias A and B, and von Willebrand disease
- thrombotic disorders – thrombophilia – antithrombotic drugs and tests for thrombogenic contaminants in therapeutics
- thrombolytic drugs used for dissolution of blood clots – thrombi – following stroke or myocardial infarction
Our role is to ensure the accurate diagnosis of coagulation disorders and the safety, quality and efficacy of therapeutics.
We do this through:
- developing over 40 primary World Health Organisation (WHO) International Standards for measuring blood coagulation factors, inhibitors and therapeutics
- carrying out Official Control Authority Batch Release of plasma-derived therapeutics as the UK’s designated Official Medicines Control Laboratory
- research and development activities on test methods and the mechanism of action of new and existing therapeutics
- investigations on coagulation-related adverse reactions, such as thrombogenicity of immunoglobulin products
- contributing to global policy through membership of international committees, scientific societies and developing guidelines and monographs