Identification and therapeutic targeting of common arrhythmia trigger mechanisms
Coordinator: Stephan LEHNART
Project Number: 241526
EC contribution: € 12,000,000
Project website: http://www.eutrigtreat.eu
Arrhythmias are common manifestations of heart disease which frequently cause sudden cardiac death and other devastating health problems. In Europe, prevention of sudden cardiac death by device and drug based therapies is expensive and increasingly strains public health resources due to a growing population at risk. However, identification of patients at increased risk for sudden cardiac death is ineffective, and existing prevention strategies are not directed at the underlying risk mechanisms. To address this challenging situation, new insights into genetic and environmental modulators of sudden cardiac death risk including arrhythmia initiating mechanisms (Triggers) and therapeutic strategies (Treatments) are urgently needed. The EUTrigTreat consortium applies a unique translational project strategy towards arrhythmias based on interactive objectives referred to as 'modules'. Module 1 investigates novel genetic arrhythmia mechanisms and risk modifiers in patients and is supported by Module 2 which investigates genetic and environmental sudden cardiac death risk modulators in animals with arrhythmias. Module 3 elucidates common environmental arrhythmia risk mediators including obesity and diabetes. Module 4 applies molecular and biophysical imaging techniques to identify novel risk biomarkers which can potentially be translated to patients. Module 5 translates experimental data through computer modeling and prediction analysis. Modules 6 develops new sudden cardiac death risk identification strategies through combined patient and experimental studies. Module 7 develops and validates novel therapeutic drug compounds and a new form of anti-arrhythmic device therapy. The pre-clinical and clinical activities will potentially result in patents of diagnostic and therapeutic applications, licensing strategies, early clinical trials and a spin-off company. Module 8 manages, advises and reviews the project progress of EUTrigTreat. Ultimately, we aim to better understand and educate about arrhythmia initiating mechanisms and associated risk biomarkers relevant to patients. Such knowledge will provide strong rationales towards improved prevention and treatment of patients at risk for sudden cardiac death.