Showing 34 ideas for tag "therapy"

Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

Expediting Gene and Cell Therapies to the Clinics

What methodologies will best enhance the translation of technologies for gene and cell therapies into potential products for clinical application and commercial development?

In considering a strategy for NHLBI investment in gene therapy, it is important to note that we are only at the beginning of a revolution that will eventually impact biomedical research across a broad range of specialties. NHLBI/NIH needs to create... more »

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? Compelling Question (CQ)

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Technological advances in vector discovery over the last decade have set the stage for a wave of potential clinical successes in diseases relevant to NHLBI. These advances include the use of lentiviral vectors for bone marrow directed gene therapy with thalassemia emerging as an attractive target and with compelling clinical data with novel AAV serotypes in the treatment of hemophilia B, and possibly hemophilia A in the future.

Furthermore, an important milestone was achieved in November 2012 with the approval of the AAV-based product Glybera by the European Medicines Agency for the treatment of a rare form of hypertriglyceridemia. This first and only commercially approved gene therapy product demonstrated regulatory receptivity for gene therapy which fueled a long overdue investment by the biopharmaceutical industry in gene therapy.
Finally, gene editing technologies such as CRISPR (clustered, regularly interspersed short palindromic repeats) are most suited for ex vivo approaches of gene therapy such as those based on engineered bone marrow stems cells for diseases like sickle cell anemia. These types of approaches could substantially reduce the risk of insertional mutagenesis that plagues lentiviral vectors and could improve expression profiles of the corrected cells by utilizing endogenous regulatory sequences.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC

It is increasingly being recognized that establishing standardized assays for evaluating product potency and purity such as “pharmacologic” regulation will be critical for the success of gene therapy. NHLBI/NIH can also play a significant role in the development of second generation gene therapy technologies with enhanced safety and efficacy.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea NHLBI Staff

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Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

Arrhythmia Therapies Based on Understanding Mechanisms

There is a need to translate these new insights of genetic, molecular, cellular, and tissue arrhythmia mechanisms into the development of novel, safe, and new therapeutic interventions for the treatment and prevention of cardiac arrhythmias.

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? Critical Challenge (CC)

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Reduced socioeconomic burden of cardiac arrhythmias. Development of new technologies and recognition of new arrhythmia mechanisms.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC

Several studies have already recognized the unexpected antiarrhythmic effects of some therapies intended for other cardiovascular disease. For example statins, aldosterone blockers, and possibly some essential fatty acids may reduce arrhythmia burden in patients receiving these interventions. Clinical trials should be developed to demonstrate the efficacy of these interventions, and arrhythmia endpoints, including those for atrial fibrillation and sudden cardiac death, should be incorporated into other large clinical trials. Research into novel antiarrhythmic might focus on (a) drug development; (b) cell/gene-based therapy and tissue engineering; and (c) improvements in development and use of devices and ablation to prevent or inhibit arrhythmic electrical activity. Continued research might also focus on targeting of upstream regulatory cascades of ion channel expression and function. Continued antiarrhythmic strategies might include the exploration of novel delivery systems (e.g., utilizing advances in nanotechnology and microelectronics), biological pacemakers, AV node repair/bypass, and treatment and/or reversal of disease-induced myocardial remodeling and tachyarrhythmias. Evaluation of new therapies should include a cost analysis. Studies in both children and adults with congenital heart are needed. New interventions might include new pharmacologic approaches as well as advances in electrophysiologic imaging and improved approaches to ablation.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea NHLBI Staff

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51 net votes
86 up votes
35 down votes
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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Cellular therapy of Blood Diseases

Can modification of either autologous or allogeneic immune cells allow effective treatment of blood diseases and infection with acceptable rates of toxicity?

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? Compelling Question (CQ)

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Although targeted therapy is generally applied to the use of small molecules that target specific genes or proteins of diseased cells, it is now possible to target immune cells against specific diseases through genetic modification. This provides desired antigen-specificity to powerful cell-mediated cytotoxicity effects. Small studies show impressive results both in blood cancers and viral infections refractory to other therapies. Toxicity and efficacy vary with the diseases being treated and the cell products used. In addition, new approaches to genetically-modify blood stem cells are being evaluated to prevent viral infection, i.e. HIV, or correct hematopoietic stem cell derivatives, and these approaches could cure diseases for which good treatments are not currently available.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC

Both preclinical and clinical studies are needed to identify optimal cell types and gene constructs, use of “universal” donors, and magnitude and durability of clinical effects. Effective infrastructure to provide the right cells at the right time is necessary to test clinical efficacy.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea Mary Horowitz

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98 net votes
122 up votes
24 down votes
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Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

Genome Editing and Gene Therapy

There is a critical need for the establishment of strategies that will determine the efficacy, safety, and toxicity of genome editing techniques specifically in hematologic diseases.

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? Critical Challenge (CC)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC

Inherited monogenic hematologic diseases such as hemophilia, beta-thalassemia and sickle cell disease are prime targets for future application of genome editing technology. However, studies are still needed to advance our understanding of the biology of genome editing as well as determine which other disorders are amenable to genome editing correction. Emphasis on preclinical research that focuses on determining the accuracy, safety and efficiency of this technology in order to help minimize off-target mutations and reduce toxicity, is essential for effective translation of this technology into the clinic. Once preclinical efficacy is established, support will be needed for clinical vector production, toxicity testing of the vectors/reagents used, and the performance of clinical trials. The gene correction strategies developed for inherited disorders will also be attractive for other hematologic diseases, and autoimmune disorders like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and type I diabetes). There is also a critical need for supporting preclinical validation studies, scale-up and GMP cell manufacturing, all of which could be shared infrastructures across multiple diseases in the NHLBI portfolio.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea Alice Kuaban on behalf of the American Society of Hematology (ASH)

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87 up votes
18 down votes
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Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

Translational research supporting stem cell therapy for cardiovascular disease

Translational research supporting stem cell therapy for cardiovascular disease, including: core laboratories for preclinical IND-enabling studies (e.g., PACT), and clinical trials networks for evaluating promising new treatments (e.g., CCTRN).

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? Critical Challenge (CC)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC

The most cost effective scientific procedure ever utilized to answer the risk benefit question posed by a new intervention to be used in humans is a clinical trial. Major clinical trials are their most effective when planted in controversial ground (MRFIT, CAST, ALLHAT). Like these studies, which were caught in a controversial dynamic of uncertainties and disparate sets of expectations, a clinical trial network to assess cell therapy is precisely what is needed.
Experienced researchers recognize the current inimical environment of cell therapy. Now - as before - some forces argue that new therapy offers no benefits, while other equally vehement constituents contend that the benefits of therapy are so great, and the risks so small, that the treatment requires little if any regulation and should be available at once to the US public. Each side provides thunder, but little light.
It is precisely in this contentious environment where passions argue beyond the data that clinical trials are required. Their construction of the most objective view of the strengths and weaknesses of the intervention comes at a cost, but the answers these well designed and concordantly executed studies provide is the clearest illuminations of the benefits and risks of human cell therapy.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC

Based on the unmet clinical needs in the treatment of cardiovascular disease and the compelling early evidence for the promise of cell therapy, NHLBI created the Cardiovascular Cell Therapy Research Network in 2007. Now in its ninth year, the Network has completed three major clinical trials in cell therapy. It has published 35 manuscripts in prestigious clinical journals including JAMA, Circ, and Circ Research. Its biorepository has published two manuscripts relating baseline phenotype findings to measures of left ventricular function. A fourth clinical trial is underway assessing the effect of cell therapy on peripheral vascular disease. The Network is also proceeding with the largest effort to assess the effect of CSC cells in patients with heart failure - the first clinical trial that will assess the effect of combined cell therapy in heart failure patients. In addition, CCTRN will study the effect of allogeneic mesenchymal stem cells in patients with anthracycline-induced cardiomyopathy. Each of these protocols is NHLBI and FDA approved.
CCTRN’s reputation of conducting and then promulgating the results of high quality clinical trials makes it the most effective mechanism to assess the benefits of cell therapy in cardiovascular disease. It is important to continue to fund the infrastructure already in place to ensure its continued high quality operation and its place as the cornerstone of cardiovascular clinical cell therapy research in the United States.

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149 up votes
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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Immunologic Treatment of Hematologic Malignancies

How can the effectiveness of existing curative therapies be improved for allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation?

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? Compelling Question (CQ)

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Much remains to be understood about immunotherapies in order to facilitate their broad use in the treatment of hematologic disorders. While studies to date have demonstrated significant potential applications, longer-term studies are necessary to further improve the profile of these therapies, including enhancing their overall efficacy while reducing associated toxicities. The efficacy of existing curative therapies can be enhanced by evaluating the mechanisms involved in producing cytokine release syndrome; a condition which has been observed in several patients receiving this therapy. Furthermore, a careful grading scheme to predict toxicity so as to guide the development of preventive and therapeutic strategies is also required. Target identification is another important issue to advance the field. While targeting CD19 appears to be promising, it results in loss of B-cell immunity and requires prolonged immunoglobulin replacement therapies and/or allo-transplantation and new immunologic targets need to be identified in both B cell and T cell malignancies as was as acute and chronic myeloid leukemias. Minimizing the off-tumor target-mediated toxicity of both CAR T-cell and checkpoint blockade therapies would help optimize their utility.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea Alice Kuaban on behalf of the American Society of Hematology (ASH)

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43 net votes
63 up votes
20 down votes
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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

How can we more safely deliver stem cells to Sickle Cell patients

Newer therapies using gene correction, rather than gene addition, are needed for sickle cell disease. Even with this potential advantage, there needs to be a way to safely deliver gene corrected HSC to the sickle cell patient. Chemotherapy is poorly tolerated, and often is the reason patients do not choose the BMT option. What is the status of other less toxic non myeloablative approaches, and how can they best be... more »

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? Critical Challenge (CC)

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would open up opportunities for more patients to get cured of their sickle cell disease without co morbidity of the BMT process

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC

Need to develop animal models and also newer marrow niche clearing agents.

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67 up votes
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Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

Maximizing anti-tumor immunity following allogeneic HCT with biomarkers

Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT) is one of the most effective forms of tumor immunotherapy available to date. Allo-HCT can be life-saving for patients with aggressive malignancies that cannot be cured through other strategies. The immunotherapeutic efficacy of allo-HCT depends on donor T cell recognition of alloantigens on leukemic cells, which is known as the graft-versus-tumor effect (GVT). No... more »

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? Critical Challenge (CC)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC

Allo-HCT represents the only curative therapy for a number of malignant disorders but often results in serious complications, including GVHD. Because GVHD is such a potentially devastating post-transplant complication and because we want to be able to separate GVHD from the GVT effect, it is crucial to try to determine a specific biological pattern link to the favorable GVT effect. The focus of this critical challenge will be to develop a novel, non-invasive GVT signature in patients undergoing HCT. If successful, this will have a major impact, because a GVT-specific proteomic signature may facilitate the clinical therapeutic decision of rapid taper of immunosuppression or increased immunotherapies. The ability to identify patients who will not develop GVT early post-transplant has important therapeutic consequences, including preventative care with donor-lymphocyte infusion (DLI) or tumor-specific vaccines or T cells expressing chimeric antigen receptors (CARs). Equally important is the identification of patients who will develop GVT without GVHD, potentially enabling more rapid tapering of immunosuppressive regimens and thereby promoting even more the GVT reaction as well as reducing long-term toxicity in these patients. With this diagnostic tool, the HCT community may plan to develop preemptive therapeutic trials. In addition, the biomarkers may represent potential GVT-specific therapeutic targets to maximize GVT and/or immunotherapies.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC

Using proteomics, several GVHD biomarkers were recently identified and validated. For example, high suppression of tumorigenicity 2 (ST2) plasma concentrations were significantly associated with the incidence of GVHD and transplant-related mortality in recipients of unmanipulated graft and cord blood transplants. Consequently, the Blood and Marrow Transplant Clinical Trial network is currently pursuing therapeutic interventions for newly diagnosed GVHD patients based on GVHD biomarkers risk-stratification. Thus, discovering and validating biomarkers post-HCT is feasible. However, the challenges with GVT-specific biomarkers are three-fold: 1) the absence of phenotype, as the only way to define clinical GVT without GVHD, is the absence of relapse and no GVHD post-HCT; 2) the paucity of samples to study GVT, ideally samples following DLI or nonmyeloablative conditioning preparative regimens that permit stable engraftment of donor hematopoietic cells but have little or no direct tumoricidal activity should be available; and 3) the relative lack of knowledge of the biology of GVT. These represent important challenges to solve. In sum, the recent successes of cancer immunotherapies, particularly for the treatment of hematological malignancies, have stimulated interest in the potential widespread application of these approaches, and biomarkers to predict and monitor the responses are required.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea Sophie Paczesny

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32 net votes
52 up votes
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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

The Use of Therapeutic Apheresis to Reduce Circulating Levels of Galectin-3 and other Cancer and Inflammation Promoting Factors

Inflammation plays roles in cancer initiation, promotion, and progression. Elevated circulating galectin-3 (Gal-3) protein and other cancer and inflammation promoting factors (CIPFs) such as C-reactive protein and VEGF are associated with tumorigenesis and may play causative roles. Plasma Gal-3 is a biomarker, prognosticator, and pathogenic mediator of diverse cancers and is emerging as a therapeutic target. Preliminary... more »

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? Critical Challenge (CC)

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Apheresis therapy in a clinical setting, both alone and in combination with conventional protocols, shows great potential to enhance treatment regimens, reduce dosage and side effects, improve drug deliver to target tissues, reduce long term treatment related morbidity and improve outcomes with significant benefits for patients with a broad range of cancer types and stages.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC

The need for well designed, randomized clinical trials would be readily feasible with the appropriate IND. Grant support will be needed for further development of this concept, as well as to develop columns with more optimized and specific capabilities, in addition to clinical trials demonstrating efficacy.

Apheresis is highly underutilized and underfunded in the US, while Apheresis research and development is much more advanced and widely utilized in Europe and Asia.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea Isaac Eliaz, MD

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33 net votes
40 up votes
7 down votes
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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

A Program of Research in the Prevention of Chronic Heart Failure

There is a need to address chronic heart failure (HF) through improved identification of patients at risk for HF and of patients with pathological ventricular remodeling who have minimal evidence of clinical HF, and more focused and individualized pharmacologic and lifestyle treatments and monitoring of patients with HF risk. Approaches would include big data collection, omics, statistical modeling, and focused clinical... more »

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? Critical Challenge (CC)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC

Substantially reduce the age-adjusted incidence and population burden of chronic heart failure.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC

The big data and omics revolutions have made it feasible to collect and analyze a variety of data in large numbers of persons within a relatively short time. A very large sample size provides excellent statistical power. Also, the public health and economic magnitude of the problem create the urgency needed to address the critical challenge expeditiously.
Chronic heart failure (HF) is easily the most common and growing cardiovascular cause of hospitalization and impaired functional status and quality of life in the U.S. and much of the world. This is the case despite improved pharmacologic and lifestyle treatment of HF, as well as improved control of blood pressure in the general population. While some HF in the very elderly may reflect the aging process, the epidemiology suggests that most incident cases could be prevented or postponed for years. Also, there are major ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in the incidence of HF.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea NHLBI Staff

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17 net votes
28 up votes
11 down votes
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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

A Program of Research in the Prevention of Chronic Heart Failure

There is a need to improve identification and surveillance of persons at risk for heart failure and pathological ventricular remodeling prior to development of clinically overt heart failure.

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? Critical Challenge (CC)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC

Substantially reduce the age-adjusted incidence and population burden of chronic heart failure.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC

The big data and omics revolutions have made it feasible to collect and analyze a variety of data in large numbers of persons within a relatively short time. A very large sample size provides excellent statistical power. Also, the public health and economic magnitude of the problem create the urgency needed to address the critical challenge expeditiously.
Chronic heart failure (HF) is easily the most common and growing cardiovascular cause of hospitalization and impaired functional status and quality of life in the U.S. and much of the world. This is the case despite improved pharmacologic and lifestyle treatment of HF, as well as improved control of blood pressure in the general population. While some HF in the very elderly may reflect the aging process, the epidemiology suggests that most incident cases could be prevented or postponed for years. Also, there are major ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in the incidence of HF.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea NHLBI Staff

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14 net votes
28 up votes
14 down votes
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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Immunologic Treatment of Hematologic Malignancies

How can the use of CAR T-cell and checkpoint blockade strategies be optimized in order to cure hematologic diseases?

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? Compelling Question (CQ)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC

As the body of evidence continues to grow on the potential applications for advanced immunotherapies, next-generation research must focus on addressing the possible curative effects that checkpoint blockades or adoptive CAR T-cell strategies can have for blood diseases including hematologic cancers. This will require specific research programs to fully understand the optimal role for these therapies within the continuum of care. To optimize these strategies for treatment of hematologic diseases, studies are needed to decipher specific hematologic diseases and circumstances under which these checkpoint blockers and CAR T-cell therapies may be employed as frontline approaches. Furthermore, while the optimal approach for these therapies is unclear, advanced studies are needed to elucidate the potential benefit in combining these promising approaches and whether patients can be better identified a priori for these therapies.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea Alice Kuaban on behalf of the American Society of Hematology (ASH)

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13 net votes
28 up votes
15 down votes
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Goal 1: Promote Human Health

Combinatorial intervention of immune dynamics to combat cariovascular disease

Human health and disease are modulated by complex and inter-connected dynamic processes. With particular significance, a well-balanced immune environment may play a key role in maintaining health and preventing the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease. Defining the dynamic programming and balance of immune environment will be the key for combinatorial therapies to reset homeostasis.

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? Critical Challenge (CC)

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea Liwu Li

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8 net votes
10 up votes
2 down votes
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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Treatment of Major Depression in Patients with Heart Failure

Major depression (MD) is common in patients with heart failure, and it is an independent risk marker for functional decline, hospitalization, and mortality. Two large trials have shown that it can be difficult to treat. SADHART-CHF, a double-blind, placebo-controlled RCT (n=469), found that sertraline was not efficacious for MD in HF. MOOD-HF (n=372) showed that escitalopram was not efficacious. Smaller trials of cognitive-behavioral... more »

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? Compelling Question (CQ)

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Major depression causes considerable emotional distress and functional impairment. It follows a chronic or recurrent course in many cases, and untreated episodes can last for months or even years. When superimposed on chronic heart failure, major depression can accelerate functional decline, diminish quality of life, and increase the risks of hospitalization and mortality. Effective treatment of depression can, at minimum, improve quality of life. Treatment may also decrease the risk of adverse medical outcomes, but RCTs will be needed to evaluate the potential medical benefits of treating depression in HF.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC

Cognitive behavior therapy is the most promising approach tested so far, but there have been few trials of this intervention, any other psychotherapeutic treatment for depression, or antidepressant medications other than sertraline or escitalopram for major depression in HF. Additional phase II trials may be needed in order to identify the most promising approaches for testing in larger, multicenter RCTs.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea Kenneth E. Freedland, PhD

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8 net votes
27 up votes
19 down votes
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Goal 1: Promote Human Health

Role of non-coding RNAs in cardiovascular biology and disease

Noncoding RNAs field is still in its infancy. It includes microRNA and long-non-coding RNA. Recent studies show that Non-coding RNA play important roles in the regulation of tissue homeostasis and pathophysiological conditions.
miRNA-based therapeutics showed promising results in numerous animal models of heart failure, cardiac hypertrophy, fibrosis and hyperlipidaemias, and showed success in in-human clinical trial... more »

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? Critical Challenge (CC)

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Genetic studies using gain- or loss-of- function approaches suggest that lncRNAs can indeed contribute to cardiac or vascular dysfunction. Moreover, targeting of lncRNAs in a cell-selective manner might be possible to treat cardiovascular disease. This may open up the opportunity for the development of new therapeutic strategies.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC

The regulation of lncRNAs has been documented in different disease models however the function is only known for a few lncRNAs. The fact that most lncRNAs are poorly conserved and are expressed as various transcript variants challenges the identification of specific biological functions and mechanisms of action. Combination of microRNA target sequesnces and long-non-coding RNA may allow for a novel cell-selective therapies.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea Hana Totary-Jain

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5 net votes
10 up votes
5 down votes
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