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The consequences of myocardial infarction (MI) and stroke could be limited by a simple injection, being developed by an international team whose research was published recently in the Early Online Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS).1

Researchers led by Professor Wilhelm Schwaeble, University of Leicester, claim to have found a way to neutralise the mannan binding lectin-associated serine protease-2 (MASP-2) enzyme, a key component of the lectin pathway of complement activation.

A single therapeutic antibody injection in mice was found sufficient by Schwaeble and colleagues to produce significantly smaller infarct volumes than were found in another group, suggesting the therapeutic effects of MASP-2 inhibition and the utility of anti–MASP-2 antibody therapy in reperfusion injury and other lectin pathway-mediated disorders.

“This is a fascinating new achievement in the search for novel treatments to significantly reduce the tissue damage and impaired organ function that occur following ischaemia in widespread and serious conditions such as heart attacks and strokes,” said Professor Schwaeble. “This new potential therapy was also shown in animals to significantly improve outcomes of transplant surgery and may be applicable to any surgical procedure where tissue viability is at risk due to temporary interruption of blood flow”.

The University of Leicester team has been working with Omeros Corporation in Seattle, which holds exclusive worldwide intellectual property rights to the MASP-2 protein, all therapeutic antibodies targeting MASP-2 and all methods for treating complement-mediated disorders by inhibiting MASP-2. It is anticipated that the first clinical trials evaluating Omeros’ human antibody in MI patients will be conducted in the Leicester Biomedical Research Unit, Glenfield Hospital, Leicester.


1 Schwaeblea WJ, Lyncha NJ, Clark JE, et al. Targeting of mannan-binding lectin-associated serine protease-2 (Masp2) confers a significant degree of protection from myocardial and gastrointestinal ischemia/reperfusion injury. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2011; doi: 10.1073/pnas.110174810

Published on: June 8, 2011

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  • ArrhythmiaAlliance
  • Stars
  • Anticoagulation Europe
  • Atrial Fibrillation Association

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