GCMI and T3 Labs Support Novel Therapy to Reduce Heart Injuries

Heart attacks and surgeries like angioplasty, bypass, or transplants can lead to organ and blood vessel damage called reactive oxygen species (ROS). ROS is generated from four sources in cardiac tissue after heart attacks or reperfusion injury, the restoration of blood flow to previously deprived tissue: mitochondria, NADPH oxidase, uncoupled endothelial nitric oxide synthase, and xanthine oxidase. But a new treatment could prevent these damaging effects.

Partnering with the Global Center for Medical Innovation (GCMI) Translational Testing and Training Laboratories, Inc. (T3), Lindon H. Young, the director of the Endocrinology and Introduction to Human Disease and Therapeutics courses in the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine program at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, is developing this therapy.

“These treatments could be used to help reduce damage to the heart from ROS during procedures such as percutaneous coronary intervention after heart attack,” he said. “This treatment is aimed at improving the heart function and hospitalizations/morbidity post myocardial infarction.”

Young is testing his treatment on pigs with induced ischemia, or loss of blood flow, for an hour via balloon catheter followed by three-plus hours of reperfusion, or when blood returns to oxygen-deprived tissue. Treatment starts at the onset of reperfusion via an intra-arterial administration through the left anterior descending artery of the left coronary artery. During the procedure, the researchers will take blood samples and measurements such as EKG readings and blood pressure to monitor the animal’s response. Researchers then observe the heart tissue and effects of treatment.

This methodology came directly from Young’s partnership with T3.

“The surgeons told us they are most likely to deliver this therapy straight to the artery,” he said. “Adopting a protocol that more closely mirrors the actual clinical application in humans, was a high value recommendation.”

The study is already producing promising results and could lead to more funding.

 “The T3 Labs team gave us great advice outside of our area of expertise on the procedure even if it meant protocol deviation, on the fly, because of their high level of confidence in clinical relevance,” Young said.

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Tess Malone, Research Writer/Editor