Yale researchers enroll first patient in study of heart-preserving molecule

July 24, 2012 By Karen N. Peart

(Medical Xpress) -- A 69-year-old man became the first patient enrolled and treated in an ongoing study at Yale School of Medicine of BB3, a molecule that promises to preserve heart muscle, promote healing and improve clinical outcomes in heart attack patients.

BB3 mimics the effects of hepatocyte growth factor, which appears to act as a modulator of . During a heart attack, the blood supply to part of the heart is interrupted, causing the surrounding to die and impair heart function. The amount of heart muscle that is lost and the nature of the repair process after the heart attack determine the eventual function of the damaged heart, and thus the quality of life of the patient.

Pre-clinical studies showed that following a heart attack, BB3 has the ability to not only prevent the death of affected , but to promote a healthy and adaptive repair process.

“We believe BB3 to be a promising therapy for the treatment of acute myocardial infarction,” said Dr. Frank Giordano, associate professor of medicine at Yale School of Medicine, and principal investigator at Yale-New Haven Hospital. “The trial will provide valuable data not only on the safety of BB3 in this population, but also whether this molecule can preserve , promote beneficial healing of the heart, and improve clinical outcomes in patients with acute myocardial infarction.

The Phase II double-blind, placebo-controlled multicenter trial is evaluating the safety and efficacy of BB3 in conjunction with routine care to improve heart function in patients who have experienced a first attack. The target enrollment is 80 patients who will be randomly assigned to receive BB3 or a placebo.

Patients between the ages of 21 and 80 who have had their first heart attack are potential candidates for this study, which is actively recruiting at Yale.

“While it is not known whether the first enrolled patient received BB3 or a placebo treatment, he is now home, doing well, and will receive careful follow up to evaluate his and response to treatment,” said Giordano.

Explore further: Helping the heart help itself: Research points to new use for stem cells

More information: For more information or to enroll in the study, call 203-737-8320 or 203-737-2213.

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