BAR HARBOR – Heart disease is the world’s leading cause of death. The MDI Biological Laboratory believes they found a way to combat the disease.
It’s called MSI-1436 also known as the heart drug. After years of studying it’s effects on zebrafish and mice. The laboratory is one step closer to fighting heart disease.
“Which has shown a tremendous potential to stimulate regeneration in mammalian tissue,” said Voot Yin, an assistant professor at The MDI Biological Laboratory.
This drug helps people recover from heart attacks.
“Instead of heart failure, these animals actually recover heart function,” said Yin, “That’s a tremendous finding.”
Heart failure is when the heart is unable to meet the body’s demand for oxygen and blood. When a person suffers from a heart attack, part of their heart muscles dies. It then begins to scar, which acts like a band aid.
“Scar tissue is a bad thing because it inhibits the hearts ability to contract and relax naturally,” he said.
Mice and zebrafish are genetically similar to humans. Because it works in them researchers here believe it will safely work in people too.
“The approach we have taken is actually to identify a small molecule that has the potential to reactivate innate or endogenous genetic switches that allow regenerative mechanism to occur,” said Yin.
They are studying the zebrafish because they are highly regenerative. They are looking push this drug to the next step, which is to have tested on pigs.