Snake venom may provide heart treatment

March 5, 2012 at 11:49 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y., March 5 (UPI) -- The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., was awarded a $2.5 million grant to study the use of a snake-venom peptide as a heart attack treatment.

Dr. Fernando Martin, a research fellow in the Cardiorenal Research Laboratory at Mayo Clinic, said the researchers seek to further understand the potential of a novel, engineered guanylyl cyclase activator -- cenderitide -- to reduce the level of cardiac and renal injury following a myocardial infarction, or heart attack.

Researchers will try to determine whether the therapy could help prevent deterioration of cardiac and renal function following a heart attack, and potentially reduce further heart failure in the future in treated patients.

Mayo Clinic researchers invented cenderitide to activate two subtypes of guanylyl cyclase receptors, which uniquely differentiates cenderitide from other guanylyl cyclase stimulating peptides.

Cenderitide, a designer peptide derived from the venom of the green mamba snake, may aid in the preservation of cardiac and renal function following serious cardiovascular events, such as heart attack and acute decompensated heart failure.

The findings were presented at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association.

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