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Professor Benjamin Thierry

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Professor Benjamin Thierry

mRNA therapeutics in heart failure

Professor Benjamin Thierry, University of South Australia

2022 Vanguard Grant

Years funded: 2023-2023

Heart failure is a highly prevalent condition affecting about 4% of Australians aged 45 years and over. Up to 75% of heart failure patients die within 5 years of diagnosis. New treatment that increases patient outcomes and quality of life are therefore critically required. There are currently no non-invasive therapies in the clinic to restore heart function and address the global public health problem that is heart failure.

Covid-19 vaccines have shown the possibilities of mRNA lipid nanoparticle (LNP) therapies. Here, we will use a similar approach but modify the LNPs to specifically “target” them to damaged areas of the heart that have tissue scarring (fibrosis) and non-invasively deliver a mRNA which can form new blood vessels. Fibrosis is a key feature of nearly all cardiomyopathies and is directly associated with rates of death and hospitalization. Using a well-characterised preclinical model of cardiomyopathy, we will specifically investigate the delivery of these mRNA LNPs to areas of fibrosis, and assess improvement of heart function.

Last updated17 January 2023