LSU Health New Orleans to receive $735,000 for improving heart attack recovery

LSU Health New Orleans will receive $735,000 over two years to study the effectiveness of the first patented drug-eluting guidewire in preventing a complication that can occur following treatment of heart attacks with angioplasty. The funding is part of a $1.3 million Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II award from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to AdenoPaint, LLC. A biotech medical device company, AdenoPaint developed a new technology to continuously deliver the drug, adenosine, to injured coronary tissue during angioplasty procedures.

Adenosine has vasodilatory, antiarrhythmic and analgesic activity. Earlier studies have demonstrated that it provides significant vascular and myocardial protection. But adenosine has an ultra-short half-life, which limits its potential benefit when delivered intravenously. AdenoPaint has overcome that limitation by developing a new form of the drug that can be delivered directly to damaged cardiac tissue via a coating on the guidewires used in coronary intervention procedures. Adenowire releases high-dose adenosine to the target site throughout the procedure.

Following angioplasty after heart attacks, the restoration of good blood flow to the heart can be impaired in some patients. Microvascular obstructions can result in what is called no-reflow phenomenon. No-reflow can lead to the development of congestive heart failure or contribute to early death. Current devices have been only partially effective in preventing no-reflow phenomenon, but adenosine has been shown to act on some of the mechanisms leading to the condition. This research will investigate the ability of the Adenowire to reverse coronary vasoconstriction and prevent coronary artery obstructions in an experimental model of acute myocardial infarction, or heart attack. A goal of this research is to move this technology closer to human clinical trials.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every year about 790,000 people in the United States have a heart attack, one every 40 seconds. The World Health Organization estimates that of the 17.7 million people who died of cardiovascular disease in 2015, 7.4 million died from coronary heart disease.

"This approach could potentially affect more than 1 million people a year worldwide, with better outcomes following acute myocardial infarction," noted David Lefer, PhD, Professor of Pharmacology and Director of the Cardiovascular Center of Excellence at LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine.

According to the National Institutes of Health, the NIH SBIR program funds early stage small businesses that are seeking to commercialize innovative biomedical technologies. This competitive program helps small businesses participate in federal research and development, develop life-saving technologies, and create jobs.

"While at an early stage of overall development, we expect the Adenowire will have a substantial impact in the treatment of myocardial reperfusion injury," said Mervyn Forman, MD, PhD, CEO of AdenoPaint and the grant's principle investigator. "A guidewire containing covalently bonded adenosine for controlled local delivery is innovative, and if these studies are successful, the likelihood of commercialization is high."

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