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Developing recombinant human platelet-derived growth factor-AB as a novel cardiac regenerative therapy

Westmead Institute for Medical Research and University of Sydney

  • Early-Mid Career Fellowship
Organ System:
  • Cardiovascular
Date Funded:
  • 31 May, 2018
Chief Investigator/s:
  • Associate Professor James Chong

Heart failure rates are increasing exponentially in Australia and worldwide. One in two people diagnosed with severe heart failure will die within one year of diagnosis. This burden of heart failure is underpinned by the heart’s limited capacity for self-repair after injury. This limitation could be overcome by stimulating newly discovered stem cell populations residing within the adult heart itself. We recently discovered a cardiac colony-forming stem cell population and have found that the molecule Platelet Derived Growth Factor (PDGF) can improve the heart function of mice and pigs after induced heart attack. PDGF does this by activating and rejuvenating resident heart stem and stromal cells. Before this promising therapy can be considered for clinical trials in humans, further testing to validate its safety is required.

This project will build on over a decade of preliminary work in mice and pigs, validating our results in a preclinical large animal model. In the second phase of this work, new materials such as nanoparticles will be used to more selectively deliver PDGF therapy to the heart. Outcomes of this project include expedited progression of this promising therapy, from the laboratory into the clinic, where thousands of heart failure patients could one day benefit.

Note: This project received project funding only. This project did not received full Fellowship funding.