High-dose human ALB (albumin) therapy is highly neuroprotective in animal models of ischaemic stroke. A recently completed 82-subject pilot-phase dose-escalation trial has shown that ALB is safe, with strong preliminary suggestions of possible efficacy. We are now proceeding to a large randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled multicentre trial funded by the NIH (National Institutes of Health), the ALIAS (Albumin In Acute Stroke) Phase III Trial, which is designed to ascertain definitively whether high-dose ALB therapy confers neuroprotection in subjects with acute ischaemic stroke treated within 5 h of stroke onset. The primary efficacy outcome measure is a favourable outcome, defined as an NIHSS (NIH Stroke Scale) score of 0–1 or a modified Rankin Scale score of 0–1 at 3 months post-randomization. Separate randomization (1:1) to ALB or placebo therapy will be carried out in two cohorts of 900 subjects each, one that receives standard-of-care thrombolytic therapy and the other that does not. Approx. 60 North American clinical sites will participate. Subject enrolment is expected to commence in July 2006.

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