BRISBANE, Calif., Nov. 04, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- MyoKardia, Inc. (Nasdaq: MYOK) today announced three awardees of the 2020 MyoSeeds™ Research Grant Program, who have been selected to receive $250,000 each in support of original, independent research in the biology and underlying mechanisms of cardiomyopathies. The MyoSeeds Program was founded to help advance MyoKardia’s mission to promote understanding and treatment of the underlying drivers of serious cardiovascular diseases.
More than 50 applicants submitted proposals, which were assessed for scientific merit, feasibility and impact of the proposed project, and alignment with the research priorities for the funding cycle. This year’s MyoSeeds awardees join a growing community of industry, academic and clinical researchers striving to shed new light on the underlying drivers of heart disease:
- Ju Chen, PhD, Professor, University of California, San Diego
Topic: Protective Role of BAG3 in Heart Failure
Dr. Chen's goal is to understand why the human BAG3 C151R variant is protective for DCM-induced heart failure. BAG3 is a cardiac co-chaperone protein essential for maintaining protein homeostasis and normal cardiac function. Mutations in BAG3 can result in dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), and downregulation of BAG3 is associated with heart failure.
- Da-Zhi Wang, PhD, Professor, Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston
Topic: AAV-based Strategies to Define the Function of Long Non-Coding RNAs in the Heart
Dr. Wang's project is designed to investigate novel cardiac-expressed long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) to provide novel molecular information about the genetic controls underlying cardiomyopathy. The majority of the human genome is actively transcribed to produce large numbers of non-coding transcripts, including lncRNAs.
- Jorge Alegre-Cebollada, PhD, Assistant Professor, Spanish National Center for Cardiology Research, Madrid, Spain
Topic: Titin Allelic Discrimination to Uncover Pathophysiology Mechanisms in dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM)
Dr. Alegre-Cebollada's lab is developing a new technology to investigate the interaction between normal and disease-causing titin alleles in cellular models of DCM. Using a fluorescent-based technology, they aim to quantify how much of each titin variant is produced and degraded and localized in the cell. This will uncover if DCM alleles lead to changes in titin levels, altered rates of production/degradation of titin, and/or defective titin localization
“We started the MyoSeed Research Grants Program in 2018 with the goal of supporting independent research to help further the understanding of the underlying biology and mechanism of cardiomyopathies and of broader heart failure. The scientific insights that have emerged from the program are doing just that and we are excited by the contributions to come from this new class of awardees,” said Robert McDowell, PhD., MyoKardia’s Chief Scientific Officer. “We congratulate our MyoSeeds fellows on their successful proposals and thank all of the applicants for their participation and interest in advancing the research of cardiovascular diseases.”
About the MyoSeeds™ Research Grants Program
The MyoSeeds™ Research Grants Program (MyoSeeds™) is intended to support original, independent research in the biology and underlying mechanisms of cardiomyopathies, as part of MyoKardia’s mission to change the world for people with serious cardiovascular diseases. The program supports original research into the biology and underlying mechanisms of cardiomyopathies and is part of our ongoing commitment to bring precision cardiovascular medicine and novel therapies to patients. MyoKardia is committed to furthering collaborative efforts that bring together researchers, the medical community, drug developers, and the patients whom we all serve.
MyoKardia is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company discovering and developing targeted therapies for the treatment of serious cardiovascular diseases. The company is pioneering a precision medicine approach to its discovery and development efforts by 1) understanding the biomechanical underpinnings of disease; 2) targeting the proteins that modulate a given condition; 3) identifying patient populations with shared disease characteristics; and 4) applying learnings from research and clinical studies to inform and guide pipeline growth and product advancement. MyoKardia’s initial focus is on small molecule therapeutics aimed at the proteins of the heart that modulate cardiac muscle contraction to address diseases driven by excessive contraction, impaired relaxation, or insufficient contraction. Among its discoveries are three clinical-stage therapeutics: mavacamten (formerly MYK-461); danicamtiv (formerly MYK-491) and MYK-224.
MyoKardia’s mission is to change the world for people with serious cardiovascular disease through bold and innovative science.
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