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Human heart cell generation for cell therapy application

Grant number: 18/22552-9
Support Opportunities:Research Grants - Innovative Research in Small Business - PIPE
Duration: July 01, 2019 - March 31, 2020
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Medicine
Principal Investigator:Diogo Gonçalves Biagi dos Santos
Grantee:Diogo Gonçalves Biagi dos Santos
Host Company:Pluricell Biotech Pesquisa e Desenvolvimento Ltda. - ME
CNAE: Pesquisa e desenvolvimento experimental em ciências físicas e naturais
City: São Paulo
Associated scholarship(s):19/16074-0 - Human heart cell generation for cell therapy application, BP.TT


Cardiovascular diseases are the biggest cause of death in the world. To date, no cell therapy has become effective because cardiac cells are difficult to obtain and adult stem cells are unable to differentiate into cardiomyocytes. In 2006, the discovery of cellular reprogramming of adult cells to the pluripotent state (iPSC) enabled the creation of cardiomyocytes from pluripotent cells and these cardiomyocytes have been treated as one of the main alternatives for cell therapy of problems cardiac disorders. However, some limitations are present in this field of research, and the maturation stage of these cardiomyocytes is the most important. Several academic groups and companies are focusing their research on the discovery of treatments or methods of culture that can bring iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes (iPSC-CM) to adult human cardiomyocytes and thereby overlap the current problems encountered with iPSC-CMs therapies, such as generation of cardiac arrhythmias, and thus favor their communication with the adult heart facilitating their regeneration. We have previously showed (unpublished data) that the lipid profile of the cardiomyocytes generated is still far from the profile of adult cardiomyocytes. Among the observed differences are the lower amount of cardiolipin, TAGs and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA - a fatty acid of the omega-3 family). Cardiolipins and TAGs are closely related to cellular metabolism, whereas DHA is an important component of the cell membrane and has been reported as an important component of the membrane involved with arrhythmias. Considering the issue of cellular maturation, iPSC-CMs have glycolytic metabolism whereas the adult heart is primarily oxidative metabolism. Regarding DHA, researchers have demonstrated an important association of a diet rich in DHA decreases arrhythmic events in patients with cardiovascular problems. Through the differentiation of iPS cells into cardiac cells (a process dominated by PluriCell Biotech) and the production of lipid supplements, this project aims at the supplementation with different lipids during the process of differentiation of cardiomyocytes, in order to produce a cardiac cell with a lipid profile closer to the profile of a mature cardiomyocyte. If such supplementation is found, the process will be protected by intellectual property and will be used for valuation of the company to capture future investments, and, consequently, company growth. (AU)

Articles published in Pesquisa FAPESP Magazine about the research grant:
Cell therapy on the radar 
La terapia celular en la mira 
Terapia celular en la mira 
Articles published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the research grant:
Articles published in other media outlets (0 total):
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