I am
heartfoundation.org.au|Helpline 13 11 12

A new nanodrug to protect the heart from damage after heart attack

Dr Shiang Lim, Institution: St Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research

2020 Vanguard Grant

Years funded: 2021-2022


Heart disease continues to be the leading cause of death worldwide. Much of the damage caused by heart attacks occurs when the blood supply returns to the heart tissue after a blockage (myocardial ischaemia-reperfusion injury). Treatments that protect the heart from this damage are urgently needed. One of the processes involved in this damage is a change in the shape of the cell’s power house, the mitochondria. Mitochondria can either fuse together or divide into smaller pieces. A protein called Drp1 is needed for mitochondrial division. Treatment with a drug that blocks Drp1, and so reduces mitochondrial division, can protect animals from heart damage. However, until recently, there has not been a specific and potent inhibitor of Drp1 that could be developed into an effective drug for humans.

We have discovered a novel inhibitor of Drp1, called DRPi27. This drug can bind specifically to the Drp1 protein (including human), inhibit mitochondrial division and protect animals from heart damage after heart attack. In this project, we aim to deliver DRPi27 using a new nanoparticle-based delivery system that will target the drug specifically to the injured heart tissue. This will reduce the possibility of unwanted side-effects. We will test the effectiveness of this treatment in a clinically-relevant and established animal model as well as in human heart tissue that we grow in a dish in the lab. These are important steps to test this new drug, before testing in humans.

Our studies will provide a new treatment to improve clinical outcomes in patients after heart attack. The expected outcomes of this new treatment will be to reduce deaths and increase quality of life for patients after heart attack. As well as the clear benefits for patients, this will also reduce direct and indirect healthcare costs for Australia in the long-term.

Lim_104710_2020-VG_Engineered-heart-organoid.jpg

You might also be interested in

Research Directory

Research Directory

Altering the rehabilitation environment to improve stroke survivor activity (AREISSA)

Altering the rehabilitation environment to improve stroke survivor activity (AREISSA)

Assistant Professor Neil Spratt, Institution: The University of Newcastle...

Constructing Aboriginal health: a review of cardiovascular research, 1933-2014

Constructing Aboriginal health: a review of cardiovascular research, 1933-2014

Ms Joanne Luke, Institution: University of Melbourne...

Exercise and brain volume loss after stroke

Exercise and brain volume loss after stroke

Professor Amy Brodtmann, Institution: Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health...

Lipid disorders in patients at high cardiovascular disease risk

Lipid disorders in patients at high cardiovascular disease risk

Dr Esther Ooi, Institution: University of Western Australia...

Optimizing stroke therapy - advanced brain imaging and rapid restoration of blood flow to the brain

Optimizing stroke therapy - advanced brain imaging and rapid restoration of blood flow to the brain

Professor Bruce Campbell, Institution: University of Melbourne...

Promoting active, healthy lifestyles among women at key life stages

Promoting active, healthy lifestyles among women at key life stages

Associate Professor Verity Cleland, Institution: University of Tasmania...

Reducing population salt consumption in Victoria

Reducing population salt consumption in Victoria

Reducing population salt consumption in Victoria

Professor Bruce Neal, Institution: University of New South Wales...

Starting early – Increasing young children’s physical activity

Starting early – Increasing young children’s physical activity

Associate Professor Hayley Christian, Institution: University of Western Australia...

Strategies to optimise cardio-metabolic health

Strategies to optimise cardio-metabolic health

Associate Professor Melinda Carrington, Institution: Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute...

Heart Health Check Toolkit

Heart Health Check Toolkit

Tenecteplase versus alteplase for stroke thrombolysis evaluation trial

Tenecteplase versus alteplase for stroke thrombolysis evaluation trial

Professor Mark Parsons, Institution: University of Melbourne...

MyMarathon

MyMarathon

MyMarathon

The fundraising race where you set the pace. Run, jog or walk MyMarathon at your own pace during October....

Research Directory

Research Directory

Atrial Fibrillation (AF) clinical resources

Atrial Fibrillation (AF) clinical resources

Resources and clinical information for health professionals...

Hypertension clinical information and guidelines

Hypertension clinical information and guidelines

Clinical information for diagnosis and management of hypertension....

Nourishing chicken soup

Nourishing chicken soup

Nourishing chicken soup

1 hour
Serves Serves 6

Cardiac rehabilitation resources for healthcare providers

Cardiac rehabilitation resources for healthcare providers

Useful cardiac rehabilitation resources for health professionals....

9 food and heart health myths, busted

9 food and heart health myths, busted

9 food and heart health myths, busted

Let’s dive into nine common food and health myths and the facts behind them....

WEBINAR | Absolute CVD risk assessment practical update

WEBINAR | Absolute CVD risk assessment practical update

A multidisciplinary panel of experts discuss the practical application of absolute CVD risk assessment through Heart Health Checks....

Sweet potato breakfast hash

Sweet potato breakfast hash

Sweet potato breakfast hash

15 minutes
Serves 2

Personal Walking Plan

Personal Walking Plan

Personal Walking Plan

Feel healthier and happier in six weeks with a free Personal Walking Plan...

Beef recipes

Beef recipes

Beef recipes

Find heart healthy beef recipes....

What is atrial fibrillation?

What is atrial fibrillation?

What is atrial fibrillation?

Atrial fibrillation is a type of arrhythmia where your heart beats irregularly and fast....

Moroccan chickpea tagine

Moroccan chickpea tagine

25-40 minutes
Serves 4

Your heart is your most important tool

Your heart is your most important tool

Your heart is your most important tool

Men’s Health Week is the perfect time to think about your heart....

Healthy chicken fajitas

Healthy chicken fajitas

20 minutes
Serves 4

Heart disease and pregnancy

Heart disease and pregnancy

Heart disease and pregnancy

Pregnancy is often referred to as the “ultimate stress test” for the body....

Keeping your heart healthy

Keeping your heart healthy

Keeping your heart healthy

Keeping your heart healthy is something you can work on every day. ...

Meatloaf

Meatloaf

40-50 minutes
Serves 6

Apricot & pecan muffin bars

Apricot & pecan muffin bars

Apricot & pecan muffin bars

30 minutes
Serves 8

What's your BMI?

What's your BMI?

What's your BMI?

Are you within a healthy weight range for your height?...

Sit less, move more

Sit less, move more

Sit less, move more

You may be surprised to know that on average, adults sit for nine hours a day....

Aboriginal heart health

Aboriginal heart health

Aboriginal heart health

Visit the St Vincents Hospital NSW and Heart Foundation Aboriginal heart health website for more information...

How we fought heart disease in 2020

How we fought heart disease in 2020

How we fought heart disease in 2020

Everything we do is possible thanks to the generosity of our supporters. ...

My health for life program

My health for life program

My health for life program

The Heart Foundation is a proud supporter of the Queensland My health for life program...

What is an arrhythmia?

What is an arrhythmia?

What is an arrhythmia?

Arrhythmia is a fault in the heart’s electrical system, which affects your heart’s pumping rhythm....

Heart health information in your language

Heart health information in your language

A selection of heart health information brochures in a range languages...

Research shows if you have gum disease, you’re twice as likely to have heart disease.

Research shows if you have gum disease, you’re twice as likely to have heart disease.

Research shows if you have gum disease, you’re twice as likely to have heart disease.

5 warning signs of a heart attack that you may not know

5 warning signs of a heart attack that you may not know

5 warning signs of a heart attack that you may not know