Novel compound may lessen heart attack damage

Feb 07, 2008

A novel drug designed to lessen muscle damage from a heart attack has passed initial safety tests at the Duke Clinical Research Institute. Results of the study, available online and to be published in the February 19 issue of the journal Circulation, reflect the first time the drug has been tested in humans.

The drug, known as KAI-9803, blocks the activity of an enzyme called delta protein kinase C that triggers cell and tissue death in the aftermath of percutaneous coronary intervention, or PCI. PCI is a set of procedures including balloon angioplasty and stent placement that clear and prop open clogged coronary blood vessels that lead to a heart attack – a process known as reperfusion.

Although the trial (known as DELTA-MI) was not designed to demonstrate the efficacy of KAI-9803, researchers say early data suggest it appears to be a promising compound.

“We’ve needed something like this for a long time,” says Dr. Matthew Roe, a cardiologist at Duke and the lead investigator of the trial.

Roe says many people may not realize that the heart suffers damage at two major points in a heart attack: first, when a blockage in a coronary artery prevents blood and oxygen from getting to the heart, and then again when the patient undergoes PCI and normal blood flow is restored through reperfusion.

“We may not be able to intervene in the first stage of a heart attack, but we think there may be ways to limit damage caused by reperfusion injury,” he says.

Researchers randomized 154 patients who had suffered heart attacks and were eligible for PCI into either one of four dosing levels of KAI-9803 or a placebo. Patients underwent PCI – with physicians injecting the drug directly into their coronary blood vessels during the procedure.

“The goal of the treatment is to flood the heart damaged by the heart attack with the drug immediately before blood flow is restored and then again, immediately afterwards,” says Roe. “We believe that bathing the area with this novel compound may block the damaging cascade of events that are triggered specifically by delta protein kinase C when blood is restored to the heart muscle,” he says.

Earlier studies in animals showed that KAI-9803 lessened damage to the heart muscle and quickly restored its pumping function.

“We designed the DELTA MI trial to find out if KAI-9803 is safe for humans, and we accomplished that goal; we did not see any serious side effects,” says Roe. “We also found, however, many promising signs of beneficial drug activity such as lessened damage to the heart muscle and improvement in electrical conductivity in the heart that corresponded to restoration of blood flow to the heart muscle. As a result, we feel this drug has the potential to be helpful in reducing the impact of a heart attack in humans.”

Source: Duke University Medical Center

Explore further: Growing a blood vessel in a week

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Hacker gets prison for cyberattack stealing $9.4M

1 hour ago

An Estonian man who pleaded guilty to orchestrating a 2008 cyberattack on a credit card processing company that enabled hackers to steal $9.4 million has been sentenced to 11 years in prison by a federal judge in Atlanta.

Remains of French ship being reassembled in Texas

1 hour ago

A frigate carrying French colonists to the New World that sank in a storm off the Texas coast more than 300 years ago is being reassembled into a display that archeologists hope will let people walk over ...

Icelandic volcano sits on massive magma hot spot

1 hour ago

Spectacular eruptions at Bárðarbunga volcano in central Iceland have been spewing lava continuously since Aug. 31. Massive amounts of erupting lava are connected to the destruction of supercontinents and ...

Magic Leap moves beyond older lines of VR

2 hours ago

Two messages from Magic Leap: Most of us know that a world with dragons and unicorns, elves and fairies is just a better world. The other message: Technology can be mindboggingly awesome. When the two ...

NBCUniversal settles with unpaid interns for $6.4M

3 hours ago

NBCUniversal will pay $6.4 million to settle a class action lawsuit brought by unpaid interns who worked on "Saturday Night Live" and other shows who claim they are owed wages, according to court documents.

Recommended for you

Growing a blood vessel in a week

Oct 24, 2014

The technology for creating new tissues from stem cells has taken a giant leap forward. Three tablespoons of blood are all that is needed to grow a brand new blood vessel in just seven days. This is shown ...

Testing time for stem cells

Oct 24, 2014

DefiniGEN is one of the first commercial opportunities to arise from Cambridge's expertise in stem cell research. Here, we look at some of the fundamental research that enables it to supply liver and pancreatic ...

Team finds key signaling pathway in cause of preeclampsia

Oct 23, 2014

A team of researchers led by a Wayne State University School of Medicine associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology has published findings that provide novel insight into the cause of preeclampsia, the leading cause ...

Rapid test to diagnose severe sepsis

Oct 23, 2014

A new test, developed by University of British Columbia researchers, could help physicians predict within an hour if a patient will develop severe sepsis so they can begin treatment immediately.

User comments : 0