Cardior Pharmaceuticals

Next Generation RNA based Cardiovascular Medicine

“Landmark Research” on the role of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs), a novel 3D heart tissue organoid derived from stem cells and potential applications for the treatment of heart failure

From the labs of the Institute of Molecular and Translational Therapeutic Strategies at the Hannover Medical School comes more exciting research on the role of next-generation therapeutic RNA targets, published today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC).

Titled “
Development of Long Noncoding RNA-Based Strategies to Modulate Tissue Vascularization” by Jan Fiedler et al., the article describes not only the discovery of new regulatory RNAs that play a decisive functional role in the development of blood vessels (angiogenesis) in conditions similar to those following a heart attack (low oxygen supply of heart tissue / hypoxia), but also the effect of the pharmacological modulation of these RNAs in a novel, lab-grown, heart-organoid, that represents the closest laboratory model of a human heart to this date.

This publication has been heralded as “landmark research” by renown cardiologist
Dr. Valentin Fuster in the audio commentary (download) and Martina Calore and Leon De Windt in the editorial comment published in the same issue of JACC. Dr. Fuster agreed with the authors that the concept presented in the article “could be very meaningful as a therapeutic tool” to treat heart failure and encouraged also clinical cardiologists to look beyond the complex title and learn about

these beautiful experimental models, in-vitro and ex-vivo, that we [cardiologists] are going to hear much more about in terms of the role of microRNAs, in particular long non-coding RNAs, in the regulation and therapy of a number of cardiovascular indications in the future”.

Martina Calore and Leon De Windt are equally enthusiastic about the presented data that “
adds valuable information by discovering lncRNAs that potentially achieve therapeutic neovascularization in HF [heart failure]”. They further highlighted the need for better model systems of the heart and welcomed the methodological approach of using 3-dimensional engineered heart tissue (EHT) derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells, by which “the investigators took this study another innovative step forward”.

Link to MHH Press release [in German]

Authors Prof. Thomas Thum and Dr. Jan Fiedler