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King’s College spins out Forcefield Therapeutics with plans to protect heart function after heart attack

By David Schwartz
Published: May 11th, 2022

King’s College London has just launched Forcefield Therapeutics, a spinout that is pioneering therapeutics to protect heart function after a heart attack.

The launch follows a £5.5 million commitment from Syncona Ltd, a healthcare firm focused on founding, building, and funding a portfolio of life sciences companies. Forcefield is founded on the work of Professor Mauro Giacca, head of the School of Cardiovascular Medicine and Sciences at King’s and the founder of Forcefield.

Giacca and his research team discovered three naturally occurring cardioprotective proteins capable of retaining cardiac tissue damaged by a heart attack. Hearth attacks can trigger the loss of large numbers of cardiomyocytes, or heart cells, which can lead to a cascade of events leading to heart failure. Up to 25% of cardiomyocytes can be lost during and immediately after a heart attack. The three identified proteins have the potential to retain heart function, preventing the progression to heart failure.

These proteins will be developed as an easily and acutely administered formulation to enable rapid treatment, before heart damage becomes irreversible.

“Despite decades of research, no current treatment is able to prevent the death of cardiomyocytes or a extend the lifespan and quality of life of patients who suffer an acute MI. By redefining the search for cardioprotective therapies, we have identified proteins that have not been previously linked to cardiac health, but which hold the potential to retain heart function, preventing premature death of heart cells and thus counteracting the deleterious effects of MI,” Giacca stated.

Forcefield CEO Richard Francis added: “Myocardial infarction remains the most common cause of heart failure worldwide, with 1.7% of the world’s population at risk. Our aim is to revolutionize acute post-MI treatment and prevent the cascade of events that may lead to subsequent heart failure.”

Source: Mirage News

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