Trodusquemine: a future treatment for heart disease and diabetic kidney disease?

Trodusquemine, developed by Novo Biosciences (ME, US) as a potential regenerative treatment for heart disease and Duchenne muscular dystrophy, has received further grants towards its testing.

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Apr 10, 2019

The breakthrough drug candidate trodusquemine, developed by Novo Biosciences (ME, US) as a potential regenerative treatment for heart disease and Duchenne muscular dystrophy, has continued its path towards the medical marketplace passing all the necessary milestones and receiving further grants towards its testing.

The development of trodusquemine comes at an important time as heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US and at present there are very few treatment options available to prevent secondary heart attacks in patients.

The research conducted by Novo Biosciences (ME, US) has shown that trodusquemine stimulates the regeneration of heart muscle tissue in mice after an artificially induced heart attack. It is currently the only small molecule known to have this effect on an adult mammalian heart.

Its effectiveness as a treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) has also been highlighted in a recent pre-Investigational New Drug meeting. DMD is an irreversible neuromuscular disease caused by mutations in the dystrophin gene, causing fast deterioration of the skeletal, smooth and cardiac muscle. The studies presented at the meeting showed that DMD mice models treated with trodusquemine have a slower rate of damage to the heart and skeletal muscles.

 “We are extremely encouraged by this conclusion. We’ve got more work to do, including developing a dosing regimen for juvenile DMD patients and defining toxicity in juvenile animal models, but the path to potential clinical trials is now defined clearly,” explained Kevin Strange (CEO, Novo).

Thanks to the continued success of trodusquemine Novo were awarded a US$1.5 million Small Business Innovation Research grant in 2017 from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, an institute of the National Institutes of Health (MD, US), to study trodusquemines effect in pigs. This study is a crucial stepping stone before moving trodusquemine into clinical trials on patients who have suffered acute heart attacks. The early results have been “very encouraging,” added Strange.

Further interest into trodusquemine has come from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (AZ, US), another institution within the NIH. They have provided a US$100,000 pilot grant for study into the efficacy of trodusquemine as a regenerative medicine in the treatment of diabetic kidney disease. Novo scientists will study its effects in mice models that have severe kidney abnormalities which closely resemble human diabetic nephropathy, a complication of diabetes that leads to kidney disease. The scientists are hopeful that trodusquemine will provide a much-needed breakthrough in treatment of diabetic kidney disease which at present is limited to long term dialysis or kidney transplants.

“Trodusquemine holds significant potential for the treatment of some of our most devastating diseases. Our recent progress on the path toward clinical trials gives hope to the millions of patients who face limited treatment options,”  concluded Strange.

Source: Novo Biosciences press release

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Mike Gregg

Commissioning Editor, Future Science Group

I have now left Future Science Group and the role of Commissioning Editor for the Journal of 3D Printing in Medicine. For any journal related enquiries, please contact Daniel Barrett at:

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