Funding to fight growing heart disease in children

Scientists at the University of Western Australia and the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute have received $ 500,000 to develop new treatments for the world’s leading cause of cardiac death in children.

Financial support from global biotechnology company CSL will be used to further research into hypertrophic cardiomyopathy – also known as “big heart syndrome” – which affects children between the ages of five and 15.

“Right now we have no way to prevent or reverse damage to the heart. All we can do is ease the symptoms. “

Professor Livia Hool

Professor Livia Hool, of the UWA School of Humanities, said the award would help build on previous findings and could prevent and even reverse damage from the inherited disease, which causes the heart to become dangerously bulky.

“Almost one in 500 people are affected by the disease, but this number is increasing and could be as common as one in 200,” said Professor Hool.

“Right now we have no way to prevent or reverse damage to the heart. All we can do is ease the symptoms. “

“This funding will make a huge difference in the lives of people not only in Australia but around the world and give hope to families who live with this disease every day.”

Professor Livia Hool and her team at UWA found that by using a drug to target a calcium channel in the heart, clinicians could not only prevent the disease from occurring, but also reverse it.

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy can be incredibly aggressive in children, but also causes sudden cardiac arrest in otherwise healthy adults.

“There are tens of thousands of Australians who have no idea they have this disease. If we could offer a treatment and a way to repair the damage to their hearts, it could save many lives, ”said Professor Hool.

“CSL’s funding will allow us to continue this vital work which is extremely exciting and incredibly welcome.”

It is hoped that funding from CSL’s Research Acceleration Initiative will pave the way for human trials that could begin within the next three to five years.

CSL’s Research Acceleration Initiative aims to accelerate the discovery of innovative biotherapies through partnerships between CSL and global research organizations. The partnerships provide funding and access to industry resources for scientists working on novel biotherapeutic strategies in the therapeutic areas of CSL.

/ University trip. This material is from the original organization and may be ad hoc in nature, edited for clarity, style and length. See it in full here.

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