August 10th, 2023 – Hatter Cardiovascular Institute Awarded 2 New UCL Grants

The Hatter Cardiovascular Institute is pleased to announce it has been successful in two recent UCL  calls.

The first award is from the UCL Translational Research Office, under the Therapeutic Acceleration Support (TAS) Call 10, which received an unprecedented number of applications. The award will support further research investigating protection of the heart with a novel small-molecule activator of the PI3Kα pathway. Myocardial infarction (heart attack) continues to be a major cause of mortality and morbidity world-wide. Based on our earlier research, which demonstrated the PI3Kα isoform enables cardioprotection by importantly reducing the myocardial ischaemia-reperfusion injury experienced during a myocardial infarction, our team then went on to discover a novel compound of this isoform which was recently published in Nature. We now endeavour to progress this compound further through a  translational pathway by undertaking ex vivo work using human myocardial tissue as a means of an initial step towards clinical translation. We believe this small-molecule PI3Kα activator could be a first-line therapy in patients experiencing myocardial infarction and be administered prior to reperfusion treatment in hospital, thus preventing irrevocable cardiac damage from heart attack.

Second, The Hatter Cardiovascular Institute has also been awarded funding from the UCL Global Engagement Fund. This programme provides support to UCL staff to collaborate with colleagues across the world, supporting a wide variety of activities including education, capacity building, global policy, and quality research initiatives. Together with the University of Cape Town, The Hatter Cardiovascular Institute has undertaken a pan-African clinical study, RIC Africa, with 4 African countries including South Africa, Sudan, Uganda, and Kenya. This multi-country study, termed RIC-Africa, has established a research alliance between these 4 African countries, with ourselves at UCL as Lead. The RIC Africa study aims to evaluate a cardioprotective strategy that we have developed in the setting of high-risk patients who present with an acute myocardial infarction. Support from the UCL Global Engagement Fund will allow the Principal Investigators to hold a second annual meeting to importantly discuss in person the study progress, address challenges and pursue further funding opportunities.

We are grateful to these UCL programmes for their support which will allow us to progress our research and continue to work towards realising real-world benefit. Congratulations to our team in being recognised for their hard work and valuable research contributions.