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New Irish research set to improve heart attack treatment

The consortium believe the test will become “readily available to patients”.

“This diagnostic tool will add to the ability of doctors to test patients at risk of heart attacks, to guide preventative anti-platelet medication such as aspirin,” said Professor Dermot Kenny, Professor of Cardiovascular Biology and Director of the Clinical Research Centre at RCSI.

“It has already proven to be a powerful tool in a laboratory setting and we look forward to harnessing the expert technology developed by BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) to make this testing widely available, ensuring the optimum treatment for patients.”

Professor Kenny and Professor Antonio Ricco (Adjunct Professor, DCU, Principal Investigator, BDI) have developed a laboratory-based test, which has already been trialled on 400 patients, to identify those who may be at high risk of side effects from heart disease medication.

Small particles in the blood called platelets clump together and can cause heart attacks. However, anti-platelet medication, commonly prescribed to prevent this, can have potentially significant side effects for 10-30 per cent of patients.

The RCSI in collaboration with BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company), a leading global medical technology company, Dublin City University (DCU) and the National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG), through a consortium enabled by the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI)-funded Biomedical Diagnostics Institute (BDI), are working together to further develop this test as a diagnostic tool.

The collaboration will receive funding of €500,000 from Enterprise Ireland (EI) and BD under the EI Innovation Partnership Programme. This new project aims to translate the current laboratory-based version of the test into a faster, more convenient, benchtop version to increase the availability of this technology to patients.

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