RATIONALE: Fibrinolysis is a valuable alternative for the treatment of myocardial infarction when percutaneous coronary intervention is not available in a timely fashion. For acute ischemic stroke, fibrinolysis is the only treatment option with a very narrow therapeutic window. Clinically approved thrombolytics have significant drawbacks, including bleeding complications. Thus their use is highly restricted, leaving many patients untreated. OBJECTIVE: We developed a novel targeted fibrinolytic drug that is directed against activated platelets. METHODS AND RESULTS: We fused single-chain urokinase plasminogen activator (scuPA) to a small recombinant antibody (scFvSCE5), which targets the activated form of the platelet-integrin glycoprotein IIb/IIIa. Antibody binding and scuPA activity of this recombinant fusion protein were on par with the parent molecules. Prophylactic in vivo administration of scFvSCE5-scuPA (75 U/g body weight) prevented carotid artery occlusion after ferric chloride injury in a plasminogen-dependent process compared with saline (P<0.001), and blood flow recovery was similar to high-dose nontargeted urokinase (500 U/g body weight). Tail bleeding time was significantly prolonged with this high dose of nontargeted urokinase, but not with equally effective targeted scFvSCE5-scuPA at 75 U/g body weight. Real-time in vivo molecular ultrasound imaging demonstrates significant therapeutic reduction of thrombus size after administration of 75 U/g body weight scFvSCE5-scuPA as compared with the same dose of a mutated, nontargeting scFv-scuPA or vehicle. The ability of scFvSCE5-scuPA to lyse thrombi was lost in plasminogen-deficient mice, but could be restored by intravenous injection of plasminogen. CONCLUSIONS: Targeting of scuPA to activated glycoprotein IIb/IIIa allows effective thrombolysis and the potential novel use as a fibrinolytic agent for thromboprophylaxis without bleeding complications.