Scientists working to develop new therapies and treatments for heart failure patients have discovered three proteins that can be injected immediately after a heart attack, which have the potential to preserve heart function following an attack.
Positive preclinical data in Science Translational Medicine, published today, outlines the mechanisms of the three proteins, which have been shown to restore heart function following a heart attack in mice.
Heart failure is the primary cause of death and disability globally, affecting approximately 64 million people worldwide according to the British Heart Foundation. There is currently no effective therapeutic treatment.
Led by Mauro Giacca, Professor of Cardiovascular Sciences at King’s College London, supported by the British Heart Foundation, researchers developed an innovative technology called FunSel that searched for proteins that could protect heart cells against the rapid cell death that typically occurs following a heart attack.
Forcefield Therapeutics, a pioneer of best-in-class therapeutics to retain heart function via protection of cardiomyocytes, which was launched in 2022 backed by leading healthcare investor Syncona, is undertaking the development work to enable clinical trials in patients in the future. The work originated at the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biology (ICGEB) and the University of Trieste, Italy.
Funsel, a protein ‘search engine’ screens a library of human proteins to identify those with therapeutic potential, in an unbiased manner (unconstrained by the bias that researchers typically bring to drug development). Starting from a library of over 1,000 proteins, it identified three, (Chrdl1, Fam3c and Fam3b) which have been shown to prevent cardiac damage in mice after a heart attack and preserve cardiac function over time.
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