ZeClinics Partners with University of Bern to Address Unmet Needs in Heart Failure Treatment
Two Cardiovascular R&D Heavyweights Aim to Tackle Ischemic Heart Disease with Novel Cardiac Regeneration Strategy.
Bern, Switzerland & Barcelona, Spain, 12th September 2018 – ZeClinics SL and the Institute of Anatomy at the University of Bern (UniBe) announced that they have entered into a cooperation agreement to develop and commercialize a cardiovascular screening method for identifying new cardiac regeneration therapies.
This agreement follows previous collaborations with Prof. Nadia Mercader Huber, team leader at UniBe responsible for the development of genetically modified zebrafish lines for cardiovascular diagnostics and pioneer in the study of cardiac regeneration mechanisms with zebrafish, research funded by a prestigious ERC starting grant. ZeClinics in turn, is a preclinical-stage biotech company based in Barcelona with extensive in-house expertise in zebrafish and CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing as well as ZeCardio (http://www.zeclinics.com/zeproducts/zecardio/) a proprietary platform for in vivo cardiovascular phenotyping which was recently awarded a European Union Horizon 2020 SME Instrument Phase 2 grant (# 755988).
"Ischemic heart disease represents a leading cause of death worldwide but to date, no viable clinical therapy exists other than heart transplantation," says Dr. Javier Terriente, CSO and Co-Founder of ZeClinics. "The recent discovery of dormant regenerative programs in the mammalian heart, coupled with the inherent heart regeneration capacity of zebrafish, opens the door to innovative strategies for unblocking endogenous regenerative responses in adult mammalian hearts after ischemia."
The final objective of the cooperation agreement between ZeClinics and UniBe is to develop a high-throughput preclinical platform for the identification of novel drugs promoting human heart regeneration. The platform will combine experimental models developed by Prof. Mercader and ZeClinics’ high-throughput cardiovascular analysis system. Both partners are confident that by joining efforts they will be able to better understand the biological function of cardiac regeneration regulators and identify putative new therapeutic targets and molecules for the future development of heart failure therapies.