Navigation Links
New technique uses 'simulated' human heart to screen drugs

A Coventry University scientist has developed a pioneering new way using samples of beating heart tissue to test the effect of drugs on the heart without using human or animal trials.

The breakthrough is the work of Dr Helen Maddock an expert in cardiovascular physiology and pharmacology from the University's Centre for Applied Biological and Exercise Sciences and could lead to the lives of hundreds of future patients being saved and the quality of their treatments improved.

Adverse effects of drugs on the cardiovascular system are a major cause of many medical treatments failing, but heart-related side-effects can often only be detected once a drug is being used on patients in clinical trials by which time it is too late.

Dr Maddock's 'in vitro' technique which means 'in glass' in reference to it taking place in a laboratory environment rather than in a living organism uses a specimen of human heart tissue attached to a rig allowing the muscle to be lengthened and shortened whilst being stimulated by an electrical impulse, mimicking the biomechanical performance of cardiac muscle.

Trial drugs can then be added to the tissue to determine whether or not they have an adverse effect on the force of contraction of the muscle (and therefore of the heart), a test that could only previously be performed 'in vivo' i.e. on living animals often with inconclusive results.

This 'simulated' cardiovascular system known as a work-loop assay provides the most realistic model of heart muscle dynamics in the world to date, and opens up unprecedented possibilities for identifying negative effects of drugs early and inexpensively potentially saving lives and speeding up the development of successful drug treatments.

Dr Maddock has formed a spin-out company InoCardia Ltd from Coventry University to begin implementing her groundbreaking technique in the pharma industry, and it has already received a quarter of a million pound investment from Warwickshire-based technology investment firm Mercia Fund Management.

Dr Maddock, who spent almost ten years developing the technique, said:

"I'm delighted that our research is at a stage where we can confidently say the work-loop assay we've created is the world's only clinically relevant in vitro human model of cardiac contractility. It has the potential to shave years off the development of successful drugs for a range of treatments.

"Both the pharma industry and regulators recognise that existing methods of assessing the contractility of the heart are fraught with problems, so we're incredibly excited to be able to introduce a new way to accurately determine the safety of drugs in respect of the heart without the need to test on humans or animals."

Mark Payton, managing director of Mercia Fund Management, added:

"InoCardia benefits from a proprietary approach following many years of investigation by Helen and her team, and offers the potential for early screening of compounds in development without the initial need for extensive animal trials. Through a markedly accelerated drug development process, this will decrease timelines to drug development, and as a consequence greatly reduce the cost of new drug development. The end beneficiary will, of course, be patients receiving novel treatments sooner."

Dr Maddock and InoCardia Ltd are already in discussions with a multinational biopharmaceutical company with a view to applying the assay in industry.


Contact: Alex Roache
Coventry University

Related biology news :

1. New technique maps lifes effects on our DNA
2. Innovative technique may transform the hunt for new antibiotics and cancer therapies
3. Grass-in-the-ear technique sets new trend in chimp etiquette
4. Research team pursues techniques to improve elusive stem cell therapy
5. Big data technique improves monitoring of kidney transplant patients
6. New digital fabrication technique creates interlocking 3D-printed ceramic PolyBricks
7. Criminal profiling technique targets killer diseases
8. Developing an improved liposuction technique that melts fat
9. New technique to prevent anal sphincter lesions due to episiotomy during child delivery
10. Novel ORNL technique enables air-stable water droplet networks
11. Study validates air sampling techniques to fight bioterrorism
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
New technique uses 'simulated' human heart to screen drugs
(Date:11/18/2015)... , Nov. 18, 2015  As new scientific discoveries ... doctors and other healthcare providers face challenges in better ... and patients. In addition, as more children continue to ... patient,s adulthood and old age. John M. ... Children,s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) . --> ...
(Date:11/17/2015)... Nov. 17, 2015  Vigilant Solutions announces today that ... Board of Directors. --> ... retiring from the partnership at TPG Capital, one of ... over $140 Billion in revenue.  He founded and led ... the TPG companies, from 1997 to 2013.  In his ...
(Date:11/12/2015)... 2015  Arxspan has entered into an agreement ... for use of its ArxLab cloud-based suite of ... partnership will support the institute,s efforts to electronically ... information internally and with external collaborators. The ArxLab ... the Institute,s electronic laboratory notebook, compound and assay ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... 24, 2015 Cepheid (NASDAQ: CPHD ) ... the following conference, and invited investors to participate via ...      Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at 11.00 a.m. Eastern ...      Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at 11.00 a.m. Eastern ... New York, NY      Tuesday, December 1, ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... But unless it is bound to proteins, copper is also toxic to cells. ... at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) will conduct a systematic study of copper in ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 2015  Clintrax Global, Inc., a worldwide provider of clinical research ... announced that the company has set a new quarterly earnings record ... quarter growth posted for Q3 of 2014 to Q3 of 2015. ... Mexico , with the establishment of an Asia-Pacific ... United Kingdom and Mexico ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , ... November 24, 2015 , ... The Academy of ... Interest Group (SIG), MultiGP, also known as Multirotor Grand Prix, to represent the First–Person ... few years. Many AMA members have embraced this type of racing and several new ...
Breaking Biology Technology: