An enzyme that lets vampire bats freely slurp blood from their prey may help stroke victims survive, and do it more safely than the only currently approved treatment, Australian researchers reported on Thursday.

The compound stops blood from clotting and is similar to a commercial clot-dissolving drug, the researchers report in this week’s issue of the journal Stroke.

But the bat saliva enzyme — called Desmodus rotundus salivary plasminogen activator, or desmoteplase — is hundreds of times more powerful than current drugs.