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Targeting cardiac fibrosis with next generation RNA therapeutics (FIBREX)

Heart failure (HF) represents the most common cause of morbidity and mortality with pressing social and economic burden. The main driver of HF development and progression is cardiac fibrosis. This excessive deposition of extracellular matrix proteins leads to continuous stiffening and impairment of the heart muscle. At present, HF remains a deadly disease with limited therapeutic options to treat cardiac fibrosis, which underlines the need for innovative therapies.

In previous work, we identified the long noncoding (lncRNA) Meg3 as a most promising target regarding the treatment of HF-associated fibrosis. Its critical role in the development of cardiac fibrosis was validated in vitro and in vivo. Encouragingly, Meg3 inhibition reduced cardiac fibrosis in a mouse model of pressure overload-induced HF.

The aim of the project FIBREX is now to establish a novel, highly innovative MEG3-based antisense oligonucleotide drug for the treatment of HF driven by cardiac fibrosis. By completing non-clinical pharmacodynamics and safety studies the antiMEG3 inhibitor will be developed close to clinical readiness. For this purpose the IMTTS received a funding of 2.5 million euro by the European Innovation Council (EIC).

Contact:                  Hannover Medical School, The Institute of Molecular and Translational Therapeutic Strategies (IMTTS)

                                Director: Prof. Dr. Dr. med. Thomas Thum

                                Phone: +49 (0)511 532-9174



                                For further information please contact:

                                Dr. Anne Bührke (Project Manager)