New Drug Reduces Injury to Heart

Antonio Abbate, M.D., Ph.D., of Cardiology, Shijun Zhang, Ph.D., of Medicinal Chemistry and Benjamin Van Tassell, PharmD, of the School of Pharmacy have developed a new pharmaceutical aimed at reducing the risk of heart failure following an acute myocardial infarction, more commonly known as a heart attack.

The new drug inhibits the activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome that initiates intense inflammation following an AMI.  Still in the preclinical phase, the drug is being licensed by a small biotech company, and the VCU team will conduct further tests.

“The results of this new drug in animal models of heart attacks and heart failure are quite impressive. It reduces the amount of injury to the heart by half,” says Abbate, James C. Roberts, Esq., Professor and interim director of Clinical Research.