Navigation Links
New drug may reduce heart attack damage

A novel drug that targets a master disease-causing gene can dramatically reduce heart muscle damage after a heart attack and may lead to significantly improved patient outcomes, researchers at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) have shown.

The drug, known as Dz13, specifically targets and neutralises the master regulator c-Jun gene, which is responsible for inflammation and muscle death in the aftermath of a heart attack, trials in preclinical models have found.

The drug also reduces incidental cell and tissue death resulting from life-saving interventions such as balloon angioplasty and stent placements, or from the delivery of clot-busting drugs.

Significantly, the heart's pumping action is protected by the drug, dramatically improving the patient's chances of a full recovery after a heart attack.

Safety trials of Dz13 are now underway ahead of Phase 1 human trials. A paper outlining the animal study appears this month in the high-impact cardiovascular journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology.

"While this drug doesn't prevent the heart attack, it does reduce the damaging effects of the blockage on the heart once it's happened," said lead investigator Professor Levon Khachigian, from UNSW's Centre for Vascular Research.

"It's a targeted therapy that can be used to complement other procedures and improve chances of a normal recovery," he said.

The heart muscle suffers damage at two distinct times during a heart attack, Professor Khachigian said: "first when the initial blockage occurs causing the chest pain, and second, when the patient undergoes an intervention, such as angioplasty or stenting, to reopen the blocked artery".

"At both these times a range of potentially damaging coordinated molecular responses kick in," Professor Khachigian explained.

"We have been able to develop a drug to silence a disease-triggering gene. The drug improves heart function, regardless of whether it's administered at the time of the heart attack, or at the time of the revascularisation process," he said.

Co-author on the study, interventional cardiologist Dr Ravinay Bhindi from Royal North Shore Hospital, said the technique represents an important potential advance in the treatment of heart disease, which is Australia's number one killer.

"There remains a clinical need for improved therapies. Mortality and morbidity have been relatively static in heart disease despite improvements in treatment," Dr Bhindi said.

"This drug not only structurally reduces heart attack size but it protects heart muscle function. Both those things in combination improve outcomes and give hope to patients."

Dr Bhindi said the process was attractive because it is so selective.

"The drug minimises potential side-effects because it targets only a master switch gene which is only turned on in cells affected by the heart attack and can be delivered directly to a localised area at the most clinically relevant time," he said.

Professor Khachigian said other, independent trials of Dz13 were about to get underway to target c-Jun in a range of diseases, from skin cancers to eye disorders.

"Our discovery means that heart attack patients may also benefit from Dz13.

"These drugs are relatively easy to make and deliver, and there are no known safety issues," he said.


Contact: Steve Offner
University of New South Wales

Related biology news :

1. Fireproofing homes dramatically reduces forest fire size, according to new study
2. Green skies: Engineers work may reduce jet travels role in global warming
3. Women more depressed and men more impulsive with reduced serotonin functioning
4. Toll charges reduce travel time
5. Naturally-occurring apple compounds reduce risk of pancreatic cancer
6. Expecting an afternoon nap can reduce blood pressure
7. Clinical studies show REMICADE reduces incidence of bowel surgeries in ulcerative colitis patients
8. Exercise improves thinking, reduces diabetes risk in overweight children
9. Zinc may reduce pneumonia risk in nursing home elderly
10. Heftier atoms reduce friction at the nanoscale, study led by Penn researcher reveals
11. Children with gene show reduced cognitive function
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/19/2015)... NEW YORK , Nov. 19, 2015  Although ... the market is dominated by a few companies, according ... Qiagen. These companies own 51% of the market share of ... report, The World Market for Molecular Diagnostic ... "The market is still controlled by one ...
(Date:11/17/2015)... 2015  Vigilant Solutions announces today that Mr. ... Directors. --> --> ... the partnership at TPG Capital, one of the largest ... Billion in revenue.  He founded and led TPG,s Operating ... companies, from 1997 to 2013.  In his first role, ...
(Date:11/12/2015)... 11, 2015   Growing need for low-cost, ... has been paving the way for use of ... discrete analytes in clinical, agricultural, environmental, food and ... used in medical applications, however, their adoption is ... to continuous emphasis on improving product quality and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... , Nov. 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna Zentaris ... that its business and prospects remain fundamentally strong ... Zoptrex™ (zoptarelin doxorubicin) recently received DSMB recommendation to ... completion following review of the final interim efficacy ... 2 Primary Endpoint in men with heavily pretreated ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... LUMPUR, Malaysia , Nov. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... global contract research organisation (CRO) market. The trend ... result in lower margins but higher volume share ... increased capacity and scale, however, margins in the ... Research Organisation (CRO) Market ( ), ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Copper is an essential micronutrient that all ... copper is also toxic to cells. With a $1.3 million award from the ... a systematic study of copper in the bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P. aeruginosa), a ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... PA (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... This ... entrepreneurs at competitive events in five states to develop and pitch their BIG ideas ... projects from each state are competing for votes to win the title of SAP's ...
Breaking Biology Technology: