Home >Science >Health >Researchers identify cause and potential treatment for Covid-induced heart damage

Australian researchers at QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute have discovered some of the ways Covid-19 damages the heart and identified a class of drugs that could potentially protect or reverse this cardiac injury.

In severe cases of Covid-19, the immune system overreacts to the infection, releasing inflammatory molecules called cytokines into the bloodstream. This so-called "cytokine storm" can damage multiple organs, including the heart.

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Canadian company Resverlogix has used the QIMR Berghofer research findings as the basis for expanding its clinical trial of the drug, apabetalone, in Covid-19 patients.

The head of QIMR Berghofer's Cardiac Bioengineering Research Group, Associate Professor James Hudson, said his team used thousands of lab-grown, miniature human heart organoids to understand how Covid-19 causes cardiac damage.

"We exposed the bioengineered, stem-cell-derived heart tissue to Covid-19 patient blood and found it caused dysfunction even when the virus didn't infect the tissue."

The President and CEO of Resverlogix, Donald McCaffrey, said it had been a pleasure to work with the QIMR Berghofer team.

"We are excited that we can finally share publicly some of the incredible early results of our collaborative Covid-19 research program," McCaffrey said.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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