Deadly spider venom treatment for heart attacks reaches new milestone – India Education | Latest Education News | World Education News

A potentially life-saving treatment containing venom from one of the world’s deadliest spiders is moving closer to human trials, thanks to a $23 million investment in a Brisbane startup.

The drug candidate, which was developed by a research team from the University of Queensland, uses a molecule found in the venom of the K’gari funnel spider (Fraser Island) and has the potential to prevent damage from heart attacks and strokes.

It will now be able to move into clinical trials after UQ’s commercialization company UniQuest has licensed the drug candidate, IB001, to Brisbane start-up Infensa Bioscience.

Senior researcher at UQ and CEO of Infensa, Associate Professor Mark Smythesaid there are currently no drugs in clinical use to prevent damage from heart attack, which is the leading cause of death worldwide.

“The heart cannot regenerate muscle cells that die in a heart attack, so these injuries cause permanent damage and can lead to heart failure, disability and reduced quality of life,” he said. Dr. Smythe.

“IB001 blocks signals that cause heart cell death, and when given immediately to heart attack victims, it could reduce damage to the heart and significantly improve outcomes for people with heart disease, especially in rural and remote areas.”

Professor Glenn King and Associate Professor Nathan Palpant from UQ Molecular Bioscience Institute discovered last year that the drug candidate prevented cell death caused by loss of oxygen to the heart and brain during heart attacks and strokes.

The drug candidate was developed in collaboration with Professor Peter Macdonald of the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute and Professor Rob Widdop of Monash University.

Dr. Smythe said the $23 million in funding would go towards developing the drug and establishing the company.

“Infensa Bioscience hopes to begin phase I clinical trials as a heart attack treatment in Queensland next year,” he said.

“This is a game-changing technology that could have global impacts and is being developed and funded right here in Australia.”

UniQuest CEO Dr. Dean Moss said it was encouraging to see early-stage university technology attracting Australian private investment.

“It’s been a while since there has been such innovation in this area, and we look forward to seeing how this exciting program of work can support people with heart disease,” said Dr. Moss.

The company also plans to raise additional funds to support the development of drugs to treat strokes and extend the life of donor hearts used for organ transplants.

The name Infensa is taken from the scientific name of the funnel spider K’gari, Hadronyche infensawhich is known by the local people of Butchulla as mudjar nhiling guran (“long-toothed spider”).

The original research was published in Traffic.

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