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Cardiovascular disease: New Treatments for an old Foe

Dr Jatin Patel, Institution: Queensland University of Technology

2020 Future Leader Fellowship

Years funded: 2021-2024


Stem cells offer great hope to the community as a means of treating and curing disease in the future. My group has an outstanding opportunity to entirely develop a novel combination stem cell therapy that has the potential to revolutionise treatment for cardiovascular disease patients. The stem cell technology we have developed is a one-of-a-kind patented isolation strategy that results in clinically relevant quantities of two specific cells, ready to be used in patients. This combination of two stem cells allows for the blood vessels to be repaired and regenerated, resulting in blood flow returning to the damaged tissue. The preclinical animal studies also demonstrated our stem cells can be transplanted without the need for immunosuppression. The stem cells are safe and will not be rejected once transplanted. This is a significant outcome that will benefit many patients in the future.

We are now at the interface to develop this unique and innovative technology to commercial scale, with a capacity then to demonstrate its safety in human patients. The funding provided by the Future Leader Fellowship will be crucial to scale-up the technology into a Good-Manufacturing-Practice (GMP) grade cell production facility. This is a milestone step and crucially a requirement to demonstrate feasibility of cell production to large pharmaceutical entities for future partnering.

Additionally, we have an innovative biomedical research program, studying how vascular stem cells become dysfunctional with high blood cholesterol, exacerbating the development of cardiovascular disease. This is an entirely new research area for cardiovascular disease, which will allow us to identify novel mechanisms of disease formation and potential drug targets to block early vascular stem cell loss. Projects like this are crucial that Australia remain at the forefront of the development of novel cell and drug therapies for cardiovascular disease; the next generation of clinical care.

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