Angina: New drug gets right to the heart of the problem

Jan 07, 2009

A compound designed to prevent chest pains in heart patients has shown promising results in animal studies, say scientists. In the second issue of the British Journal of Pharmacology to be published by Wiley-Blackwell, researchers from the Centre de Recherche Pierre Fabre in France, show that the novel compound F15845 has anti-angina activity and can protect heart cells from damage without the unwanted side effects often experienced with other drugs.

Because F15845 does not interfere with heart function, as some conventional drugs such as beta blockers do, it could be given as part of a combination therapy. "It's completely different from other anti-angina drugs which directly interact with the function of the heart. So the idea is to do a co-administration with conventional heart drugs such as beta blockers," says lead author of the study, Bruno Le Grand from the Centre de Recherche Pierre Fabre in Castres, France.

The drug works by blocking excess influxes of sodium into heart cells through 'gate' proteins called sodium channels. High levels of sodium in heart cells are associated with low oxygen levels, which cause angina and can in turn lead to the build up of toxic concentrations of calcium that are lethal to cells. A number of drugs that target sodium channels can block the influx, but they act universally on heart cells and can sometimes cause further heart irregularities.

F15845 specifically targets the sodium channels that are thought to cause the most damage, those responsible for what is known as the persistent sodium current, which causes a permanent excess sodium influx.

The study confirmed the drug's anti-angina activity in laboratory animals. The researchers say the drug is absorbed well when given orally and represents a novel therapeutic opportunity for treating angina and possibly other cardiac pathologies.

"We know that in animals, we have acceptable bioavailability, but with the data that we have in human volunteers following phase I clinical trials we are very confident that it is above 70 per cent," says Le Grand.

Source: Wiley

Explore further: Merck, Iowa firm sign Ebola vaccine licensing deal (Update)

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Powdered measles vaccine found safe in early clinical trials

12 hours ago

A measles vaccine made of fine dry powder and delivered with a puff of air triggered no adverse side effects in early human testing and it is likely effective, according to a paper to be published November 28 in the journal ...

Health care M&A leads global deal surge

Nov 23, 2014

In a big year for deal making, the health care industry is a standout. Large drugmakers are buying and selling businesses to control costs and deploy surplus cash. A rising stock market, tax strategies and ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.