Ischemia Reperfusion Injury
Myocardial infarction (MI) is the leading cause of death and disability in the US, with over one million U.S. patients suffering from MI annually. Worldwide, the numbers are staggering – approximately 15.9 million individuals suffered from MI in 2015 alone.
Research shows that myocardial cell injury during MI occurs as a result of both the initial ischemic insult and subsequent reperfusion injury. Current treatment for MI is focused on the treatment of ischemia. There is no current treatment for reperfusion injury. Research conducted by Stanford University and UCLA demonstrated the role of toxic aldehydes, as well as the cardioprotective role of ALDH2, during the reperfusion phase of MI. In the animal model, activation of mitochondrial ALDH2 prior to MI decreased MI size by 60% (Chen C-H et al., 2008).
Reperfusion occurs in the later stages of MI when patients who are hospitalized can be treated by administration of synthesized ALDH2. Administration of ALDH2 will provide the same cardio-protective effect as activation of mitochondrial ALDH2. The advantage of administering synthesized ALDH2 is that it will not be preventive, resulting in a much shorter development path with much lower development costs.