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A treatment for heart failure

Heart failure is a condition where the organ no longer supplies sufficient blood to the body to meet its demands. It usually develops following an injury to the heart from a heart attack, infection or chronic hypertension. Once the cycle of heart failure is established, current therapies can do little to prevent disease progression. Even on optimal therapy (OMT) mortality rates are 50% at five years from diagnosis; this is considerably worse than most forms of cancer. Patients experience increasing disability as the function of the heart declines; breathlessness and fatigue on exertion is eventually experienced even at rest with hospitalisation and hospice care being inevitable.

The cardiac rhythm management device (a pacemaker) from Ceryx is expected to treat heart failure and significantly improve quality of life for those suffering from heart failure. Pumping up to 20% more blood every minute, preclinical trials to date show a huge boost in the performance of the heart.

Clinical evaluations of the cardiac rhythm management device are now underway with a prototype device being used in a preclinical model of heart failure at the Auckland Bioengineering Institute in New Zealand.

Regulating blood pressure

The second device from Ceryx is a system for modulating blood pressure. Through continuous monitoring of blood pressure and stimulation of nerves within the body, the device can tightly regulate blood pressure within a healthy range – both increasing and decreasing pressure as required. Current anti-hypertensive medications can only lower blood pressure which causes problems when the blood pressure naturally drops, for example during sleep.

It is also hoped that Ceryx’s technology will have the potential to treat other conditions, such as hypertension and spinal cord injuries.