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University Hospital Heidelberg cooperates in the field of cardiology with LDC and Novo Nordisk

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The Lead Discovery Center GmbH (LDC), Novo Nordisk and Heidelberg University Hospital are starting a collaboration to develop new therapy for heart failure.

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The cardiac Ca2 + / calmodulin-dependent kinase II (CaMKII) plays a central role in maladaptive processes in the diseased heart. The partners want a new to develop a class of CaMKII modulators that block the undesirable effects of CaMKII and at the same time maintain their physiological function with the help of an innovative strategy.

This new approach was discovered, validated and developed further by Prof. Johannes Backs and his team at the University Hospital Heidelberg together with the LDC. In the first phase of the project, the research of Prof. Johannes Backs was funded by a program that transfers results from basic research into the clinical application by the German Centre for Cardiovascular Research (DZHK), the Translational Research Projects (TRP).

As part of their collaboration, the partners succeeded in identifying several promising hit substances.

“We are delighted to continue working with Prof. Johannes Backs' excellent team and welcome Novo Nordisk in the second phase of our cooperation, in which we focus on advancing our hits to lead structures. We appreciate the early involvement, through which Novo Nordisk can control the progress of the project with valuable input, "says Bert Klebl, Managing Director and Scientific Director of the LDC.

“Heart failure is one of the most common and deadliest diagnoses in hospitals - and despite therapeutic advances, we still see very high morbidity and mortality, ” adds Prof. Johannes Backs. “Our approach has good prospects in offering a new, effective and safe treatment option. We are thrilled to work with the LDC and Novo Nordisk to further the project towards application."

“This cooperation makes it possible to use the results of decades of research that demonstrate the potential of CaMKII as a therapeutic target structure in heart failure. It is one unique chance to become part of cooperation that has a deep biological understanding and excellent technical skills to provide new treatments for patients with developing heart failure. It also supports Novo Nordisk's goal of offering effective treatments for patients suffering from this disease, ”says Karin Conde-Knape, SVP Global Drug Discovery at Novo Nordisk.

Source: The Lead Discovery Center GmbH

Translational Research Project: Hit-to-lead development of CaMKII-HDAC4 inhibitory compounds to treat heart failure (project 1: Identification of potent hits)