Repurposing a leukaemia drug against heart failure
Acute myocardial infarction (MI) causes left ventricular dysfunction and heart failure in nearly 50 % of patients. Following extensive preclinical testing, the EU-funded RITA-MI 2 project aims to repurpose an existing drug, rituximab, currently employed for lymphoid malignancies and autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis. Rituximab is a monoclonal antibody that selectively targets mature B lymphocytes expressing CD20. The rationale is to stop or limit the deleterious cardiac remodelling that takes place after MI and improve heart function recovery. RITA-MI 2 will assess the impact of B lymphocyte depletion in patients with MI in a phase 2b clinical trial.
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