PITTSBURGH--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Vivasc Therapeutics Inc. is pleased to announce it has initiated its second NIH Phase I STTR research grant (Award Number R41HL164212), in conjunction with Georgetown University. This work is supported by the NIH National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, valued at approximately $284,000, and aims to use Vivasc’s proprietary Cardiac Targeting Peptide (CTP) to deliver micro-RNAs (miRNAs) to cardiomyocytes to reverse cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure at the molecular level.
Dr. Ian Gallicano of Georgetown University is the PI for this grant, and this coincides with his publishing a paper in the Journal Pharmaceuticals: “Reversing Cardiac Hypertrophy at the Source Using a Cardiac Targeting Peptide Linked to miRNA106a: Targeting Genes That Cause Cardiac Hypertrophy”, that provides the proof-of-concept for this grant at a cellular, in vitro level.
Results for Vivasc’s first Phase I STTR (Award Number R41HL150908) using its CTP to deliver amiodarone, an anti-arrhythmic, to the heart, are going to be reported at the upcoming American Heart Association’s scientific meeting in Chicago, IL, on November 7th as an oral presentation by Dr. Maliha Zahid. The work shows that CTP delivered amiodarone to the heart at ~1/15th the dose and elicited similar physiological results as amiodarone alone.
Vivasc is also announcing that its Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Maliha Zahid, has accepted a position at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, as a clinician investigator. Working at the senior associate consultant level, Dr. Zahid will be devoting 50% of her time to translational research and 50% of her time to clinical activities. The company looks forward to Dr. Zahid’s continuity between clinical and scientific work as it aims to bring the Cardiac Targeting Peptide to patients.
With this second NIH Phase I STTR award, Vivasc has received over $600,000 in NIH funding to accelerate the development of the Cardiac Targeting Peptide and its ability to act as a platform capable of delivering myriad cargo to cardiomyocytes.
This content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
About Vivasc Therapeutics Inc.
Located in Pittsburgh, PA, Vivasc Therapeutics is an early stage, pre-clinical cardiac drug development company. Mr. Charles Dougherty is the Chief Executive Officer, and Dr. Maliha Zahid is Vivasc’s Chief Scientific Officer, an equity holder and director of Vivasc, and an inventor of the CTP platform technology.