Local miR-29b inhibition using drug eluting balloons to block abdominal aortic aneurysm progression

Funded period

2019 – 2021

Granted budget

€ 486,080


abdominal aortic aneurysm

Therapeutic Principle


Principal Investigator

Lars Maegdefessel (Klinikum rechts der Isar der Technischen Universität München)

An abdominal aortic aneurysm, which is a vascular “ballooning” of the aorta in the abdomen, is caused by a weak vascular wall. If an aneurysm ruptures, it's often fatal.

The standard therapy is an open or catheter-based surgical procedure to insert vascular supports, so-called stents. It requires rapid intervention and is associated with intensive follow-up and a high long-term complication rate. Among other factors, a micro-ribonucleic acid, miR-29b, is involved in the damage to the vessel wall. Microribonucleic acids are attractive targets for therapeutic approaches. In previous investigations in animal and cell culture models, the team was able to show that inhibitors directed against miR-29b can prevent the development of vascular sacculation.In this project, the feasibility and safety of genetically modified mini-pigs, which serve as animal models for atherosclerosis and advanced vascular diseases, will be investigated. The inhibitor will be delivered directly to the damaged vascular wall via a drug-eluting balloon catheter. This will provide evidence for a possible therapy to limit the progression of aneurysms and reduce the risk of their acute rupture.