From the Bangor, Maine Bangor Daily News:
Scientists at MDI Biological Laboratory discover a tiny molecule that may be able to heal a damaged heart
MDI Biological Laboratory in Mount Desert Island, Maine has been awarded a patent on a tiny molecule called MSI-1436.
This is a big deal for two reasons:
- It’s a first for MDI.
- It paves the way for a possible drug that would repair and regenerate damaged heart tissue.
Our bodies already have a remarkable ability to repair and regenerate damaged tissue. Think of how skin heals after a cut or surgery, how torn muscles repair themselves, how you could lose a huge portion of your liver and it would be able to regenerate itself, how broken bones knit.
Unfortunately, other tissues, such as the spinal cord, brain, and heart, do a poor job of regeneration. When a person has a heart attack, for instance, scar tissue forms in the damaged area and it can no longer function like it’s supposed to.
“Basically,” explained MDI President, Kevin Strange, Ph.D., “the current standard of treatment for a heart attack, assuming you survive it, is you in effect spend the rest of your life being treated with drugs and other sorts of approaches to try and prevent a secondary heart attack and to try and prevent heart failure. If you go into heart failure that’s kind of it unless you can get a transplant.”
Or … unless a drug was available that could activate your heart to repair itself. That’s the promise of MSI-1436. MDIBL scientist Voot P. Yin, Ph.D., said it was a eureka moment when he realized its potential.
They are planning to take it to market:
Testing that theory will take several years and likely millions of dollars. Getting the patent on the molecule is a major step toward doing clinical studies in humans. MDI, which is a non-profit lab, also moved ahead and created a for-profit spin-off called Novo Biosciences to develop MSI-1436 as a regenerative medicine therapy.
And it has already been through some human clinical trials:
“This drug has already made it through all of that early toxicity testing,” said Dr. Strange, “and it’s also been in what are called FDA Phase 1a and 1b clinical trials. It was initially being tested as an anti-obesity and type 2 diabetes drug and what they showed is that the drug was quite well tolerated by patients.”
Very cool - faster please!