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Enhancing heart repair to treat cardiomyopathies

Collaborating organisations listed below.

  • Cardiovascular Collaborative Grants
Date Funded:
  • 25 May, 2023
Chief Investigator/s:
  • Dr. Daniel Hesselson
  • Professor Robert Graham
  • Director Kazu Kikuchi
  • Dr. Siiri Iismaa
  • Dr. Alex Cole
  • Dr. Matthew Graus

Project Summary

This project aims to develop innovative treatment to repair damaged heart muscle to improve outcomes, wellbeing and survival after heart attack and other cardiomyopathies.

What is the issue for NSW?

Diseases causing damage to heart muscle cells can lead to heart failure with a 5-year survival rate worse than all but one form of cancer. This is a common condition that can result from heart attacks and chemotherapy drugs in adults. In children, genetics and prematurity can affect the growth of the heart muscle, leaving it too weak to function properly. There are currently no therapies that can directly improve heart function. This represents and urgent unmet clinical need for innovative treatments that attack the underlying disease and stimulate the growth of new healthy heart muscle cells.

What does the research aim to do and how?

This research will harness the power of directed evolution to enhance the potency of a promising therapeutic that we recently discovered can stimulate the growth of heart muscle cells. We will use molecular and cellular assays to choose the best drug candidate and formulate it for testing in a preclinical heart attack model. We aim to produce a therapeutic that is ready for the next stage of the drug development pathway.

This research will:

  • Produce five to ten therapeutic drug candidates.
  • Prioritise a lead drug candidate for preclinical testing.
  • Demonstrate efficacy in a preclinical heart attack model.

Collaborating Organisations:

The Centenary Institute

Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute

National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center (Japan)