Therapeutic peptides for Chagas disease: a new approach to cardiovascular diseases
Chagas disease affects approximately 8 million people globally, primarily in South and Central America, but also in several European countries, Japan, Australia, the United States and Canada. Chagas has become a global health threat with an economic burden of USD7.19 billion annually due to healthcare costs associated with Chagas cardiovascular diseases. Chagas’ acute stage starts with flu-like symptoms and can develop into a chronic stage that is often manifested by cardiac or gastrointestinal diseases. Chronic cardiac Chagas symptoms include enlarged heart, arrhythmia, stroke, and death. New drugs are urgently needed because those that are currently available are highly toxic and ineffective in treating the chronic stage. Challenges in developing drugs for Chagas disease include the lack of effective drug candidates and limited knowledge of drug targets and mechanisms of action. This project aims to develop new protein inhibitor candidates against T. cruzi, the protozoan parasite that causes Chagas.
This project was selected for funding during the first research competition of the Joint Canada-Israel Health Research Program – Phase II. The program is a partnership between IDRC, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Israel Science Foundation and the Azrieli Foundation.