Altamira and Heqet Team Up to Unlock Cardiac Regeneration with Innovative Non-Coding RNA Nanoparticles

Altamira Therapeutics Ltd., publicly traded on Nasdaq as CYTO, is proud to announce its collaboration and option agreement with Italy-based Heqet Therapeutics s.r.l. Heqet has emerged from King’s College London; with its cutting-edge genetic medicine to reverse the damage of ischemic heart disease, they are a prime example of medical innovation. Altamira’s proprietary OligoPhoreTM delivery platform will be the cornerstone of this special partnership. Together, they will strive to bring innovative treatments to those suffering from heart-related diseases.

Myocardial infarction devastates an unfathomable number of lives each year, causing irreversible death to heart muscle cells, or cardiomyocytes, due to a prolonged lack of oxygen supply. In the US alone, 605,000 new cases of myocardial infarction and 200,000 recurrent attacks occur annually. Shockingly, mortality rates from heart failure have been estimated to reach 50% of diagnosed patients within the five years post diagnosis.

Heqet and Altamira are now teaming up in an effort to combat this life-threatening situation; Heqet is currently testing nanoparticles based on Altamira’s OligoPhore delivery platform in order to regenerate damaged heart tissue after myocardial infarction in animal models. Upon successful completion of these experiments, Heqet will have the option to negotiate with Altamira to use their technology and intellectual property to develop therapeutics for cardiac regeneration.

Heqet was founded by Professor Mauro Giacca, MD, Ph.D., who serves as Head, School of Cardiovascular Medicine & Sciences, King’s College London. His previous work showed the feasibility of regeneration of damaged heart tissue by stimulating the proliferation of cardiomyocytes in animal models of myocardial infarction through upregulation of certain ncRNAs.3 However, delivery of the ncRNAs with viral vector technology turned out to be challenging, not the least since proliferation must be only temporary.  

“We are thrilled to combine Altamira’s peptide-based delivery technology with our non-coding RNAs, to further optimize our unique therapeutic approach and improve the available treatment options for myocardial infarction,” said Anja Høg, Chief Development Officer at Heqet Therapeutics.

“The promise of regenerating cardiac muscle continues to intrigue scientists and clinicians worldwide given the significant complications and high mortality associated with myocardial infarction,” said Samuel A. Wickline, MD, Altamira’s Chief Scientific Adviser.

“Application of molecular factors that can stimulate resident myocardial cells to start dividing again appears to be a very promising novel approach, yet it requires timely and targeted delivery to cardiomyocytes. We believe that our peptide-based OligoPhore platform for RNA delivery has the potential to serve as a safe and effective vehicle for engineering controlled local cardiac regeneration.”

About OligoPhore

OligoPhore is a powerful tool that enables safe, effective delivery of therapeutic oligonucleotides like siRNA, miRNA or antisense RNA. Thanks to its innovative 21-amino acid peptide, the RNA payload becomes encapsulated into a polyplex, allowing it to quickly and safely reach its target tissues.

This innovative polyplex is designed to evade hepatic clearance and facilitate cellular uptake, while its size, charge and other physical features enable efficient endosomal escape and cytoplasmic delivery. Proven to be effective in a range of murine disease models, OligoPhore is revolutionizing the way we think about therapeutic delivery.

About Altamira Therapeutics

Altamira Therapeutics (Nasdaq:CYTO) is an innovative biotechnology company dedciated to transforming life sciences through the power of RNA delivery technology. Its OligoPhore™/SemaPhore™ platforms enable the design of siRNA programs for cancer and rheumatoid arthritis. It also boasts a versatile delivery platform for mRNA and other types of RNA therapeutics.

Beyond in vivo proof of concept, the Company has two program in preclinical development. Additionally, Altamira is in the process of divesting and/or out-licensing its legacy assets in allergology, viral infection, inner ear therapeutics, and more. Established in 2003, Altamira is headquartered in Hamilton, Bermuda, with its main operations in Basel, Switzerland.

About Heqet Therapeutics

Heqet Therapeutics, Turin, Italy, is a spin-out company from King’s College London founded in 2022. It was founded on ground-breaking research in cardiac regeneration conducted by Professor Mauro Giacca. The company is currently advancing its ncRNA-based compounds into preclinical development. At its inception, Heqet Therapeutics raised GBP 6.6 million (about $8.5 million) in a Series A financing round led by Claris Ventures and 2Invest. 

Forward-Looking Statements

Altamira’s future success is dependent upon a variety of factors, some of which are outside of the company’s control. These include the success of the continued commercialization of Bentrio, the development and performance of its product candidates, the timing and conduct of clinical trials, regulatory filings and approvals, and intellectual property position.

Additionally with respect to strategic transactions, such as licensing or partnering for Bentrio or any other legacy assets, Altamira needs to raise a substantial additional funding. Any of these factors could have a significant impact on the company’s operations, financial performance, and strategies. In order to navigate this complex landscape, it is essential for Altamira to remain aware of and manage all of these potential risks and uncertainties.

Leave a Comment