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Cardiovascular disease

Myocardial infarction (MI)

p75 Neurotrophin receptor (p75 NTR); nerve growth factor (NGF)

Patient and mouse studies suggest antagonizing p75 NTR could help treat MI. In hearts of patients that had fatal MI and in a mouse model of ischemia/reperfusion injury, levels of the NGF precursor proNGF were higher in cardiac myocytes and levels of p75 NTR were greater in arterioles than those in hearts from patients who died of non-cardiac-related causes and in sham-operated mice. In mice with impaired processing of proNgf into mature Ngf, vascular permeability and cardiomyopathy were greater than those in mice with normal proNgf processing. Next steps include identifying small molecules and biologics that target proNGF.
At least seven companies have compounds targeting NGF in clinical and preclinical testing for neurology indications.

SciBX 5(46); doi:10.1038/scibx.2012.1206
Published online Nov. 29, 2012

Patent application filed; available for licensing

Siao, C.-J. et al. J. Exp. Med.; published online Oct. 22, 2012;
Contact: Barbara L. Hempstead, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, N.Y.