Vivasc Therapeutics Inc. Receives NIH Phase I STTR Grant to Utilize Novel Cardiac Targeting Peptides for Targeted Delivery of Amiodarone to the Heart for Treatment of AF

The University of Pittsburgh and Vivasc Therapeutics Inc. announced a research grant awarded by the NIH National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, valued at approximately $327,000 for the continued development of CTP-amio, the company’s lead compound, for the treatment of arrhythmias.

Vivasc’s proprietary Cardiac Targeting Peptide (CTP) has been shown to deliver therapeutic cargo (oligonucleotides, peptides, proteins, nanoparticles, etc.) to cardiomyocytes. Vivasc’s lead compound is a conjugation of CTP with amiodarone. Amiodarone was first approved by the FDA in 1985 and is acknowledged as the most efficacious anti-arrhythmic medication, with documented off-target, multi-organ toxicities from chronic administration. The ultimate goal is to improve this side effect profile by reducing the dose needed of amiodarone by directing it to the heart. The grant aims to demonstrate that CTP-amio can target delivery of amiodarone to the heart while retaining amiodarone’s anti-arrhythmic efficacy.

This Phase I STTR award will accelerate the development of CTP-amio and will set the stage for larger animal model studies and full pharmacology/toxicity studies of CTP-amio in preparation for filing an Investigational New Drug application for a Phase I clinical trial.

This grant award is supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R41HL150908. Dr. Maliha Zahid is the PI for this grant. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

About Vivasc Therapeutics Inc.
Located in Pittsburgh, PA, Vivasc Therapeutics is an early stage, pre-clinical cardiac drug development company. Dr. Zahid is Vivasc’s Chief Scientific Officer, an equity holder and director of Vivasc, and an inventor of the Cardiac Targeting Peptide (CTP) platform technology.