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Redefining the Search for Cardioprotective Therapies

FunSel is a transformational search engine that has enabled us to discover a totally new way to protect the heart after myocardial infarction (MI).
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FunSel

FunSel is a completely new way of discovering drugs – Functional Selection, removing the bias built into previous drug discovery which is always disease or target focused.

FunSel is gene and mechanism of action agnostic, based on the physiology of the organ and disease in question.

FunSel was developed by Forcefield founder Prof Mauro Giacca and scientists at the International Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB), Trieste. In this case, FunSel was used to discover natural proteins that retain heart function and help existing cardiomyocytes protect themselves after MI.

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Prof Giacca
 

Forcefield’s three proteins were discovered by Forcefield founder Prof Mauro Giacca and scientists at the International Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB), Trieste.

Genes for 1200 proteins encoding the mouse secretome were inserted into a viral gene delivery vector and injected into an animal model of myocardial infarction. The genes expressing healing factors were identified from animals whose hearts successfully repaired themselves and maintained their function for a prolonged period (analogous to prevention of heart failure). These factors were then individually validated as efficacious in independent experiments.

As a result, three proteins have been discovered capable of protecting cardiac tissue damaged by acute myocardial infarction (AMI).

Prior to these discoveries the proteins have not been shown to have therapeutic benefit in AMI. This application is part of an exclusive IP license agreement with ICGEB.

Forcefield are now developing these proteins as biotherapeutics with Prof Giacca and his team at the School of Cardiovascular Medicine and Sciences, King’s College London

1200 secreted
proteins in virus

Injection into
mouse with MI

Heart selects what
it needs to heal

Identify healing factors from heart

Develop
biotherapeutic

A proven team with a record of success from discovery to commercialisation, backed by leading life sciences investment fund, Syncona.

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