Award-winning Science with Outstanding Commercial Potential in Cardiovascular Disease

(PresseBox) ( Munich, Germany, )
Ascenion's partner, Prof. Thomas Thum from the Hannover Medical School (MHH), today receives the prestigious Outstanding Investigator Award from the International Society of Heart Research (ISHR). ISHR honours Prof. Thum for his exceptional contributions to the advance­ment of cardiovascular science. In landmark studies, he demonstrated the potential of regulatory RNA molecules for the diagnosis and treatment of heart diseases.

Together with Ascenion, the MHH's technology transfer partner, he is pioneering the translation of these results into medical applications. 'Heart insufficiency is a result of a pathological process,' Prof. Thum explains. In various in-vivo models of cardiac disease, his team was able to show that this process can be stopped and even reversed by the specific inhibition certain microRNAs and lncRNAs. 'It is the target, which makes all the difference,' he says. 'To my knowledge, there is currently no other approach under development with comparable capacity to heal the heart following infarction and to prevent cardiac failure.'

'We congratulate Thomas and are celebrating this prestigious award with him,' says Gregor Lichtfuss, Technology Manager with Ascenion. 'His work on regulatory RNAs holds tremendous potential for millions of patients and we are delighted to be supporting the transfer of his impressive results into application.'

The growing awareness of regulatory RNAs, together with positive results from first clinical studies in other indications, drives an increasing demand in industry. Ascenion has already mediated first deals relating to IP resulting from Prof. Thum's work and has created a set of further high-potential opportunities:

- Therapeutic microRNAs and long non-coding RNAs with proven in-vivo efficacy in heart failure and post myocardial infarction healing

- Diagnostic biomarkers based on circulating miRNAs and lncRNAs that enable patient stratification and the early diagnosis of Takotsubo, myocardial infarction, acute kidney injury and multiple sclerosis

- Cardior Pharmaceuticals, a start-up in the process of being founded by Prof. Thum developing innovative treatments for heart failure, is currently seeking seed investors

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