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Does a novel P2X7R antagonist reduce diabetic cardiomyopathy?

Dr Belinda Di Bartolo, Institution: University of Sydney

2019 Vanguard Grant

Years funded: 2020-2021


Heart disease is one of the most common and serious complications of diabetes. It refers to a number of heart-related conditions including those of both the heart muscle (cardiomyopathy), and the heart arteries (atherosclerosis). Inflammation plays a key role in these pathologies but has been challenging to therapeutically target. Currently, there a very few treatments that specifically target the inflammatory component of heart disease and its related conditions. There has been one landmark study that has shown enormous benefit for patients with heart disease when the treatment targets inflammation however, this treatment is currently very expensive and not a suitable option for many patients.

We are a cross-disciplinary team of clinicians, biomedical scientists, and medicinal chemists who have discovered a small molecule drug that blocks the inflammatory pathways driving heart disease in diabetes. Preclinical data from our laboratory has shown that the new drug protects against the development of atherosclerosis, and improves heart muscle function. This data is extremely promising and with further investigation into its potential for treating the heart complications associated with diabetes we will have thoroughly determined its therapeutic ability. We will test the ability of this new drug to reduce inflammation in atherosclerosis and improve cardiomyopathy. The outcomes of this research will be the development of a new alternative to the current treatment options for inflammation and provide a new option for the treatment of inflammation in heart and heart-related conditions.

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