Scientists at Australia’s Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research developed a new compound that could be a game-changer for medical emergencies and surgeries to prevent cells from dying.
The new compound is able to keep cells, which would normally die as a result of the natural process called apoptosis, alive and functioning.
The new drug referred to as “cell death blocker” has the potential to minimise cellular damage after heart attacks and could also help to preserve organs longer for transplant patients.
Created after an 11-year research collaboration involving government funding and various health organisations, study lead, Prof. David Huang, said the discovery could be invaluable for the future of medical care.
“Acute injury can cause cells to die rapidly leading to the loss and weakening of tissues and muscles,’’ he said on Tuesday.
“In such circumstances, being able to prevent uncontrolled cell death could improve a patient’s recovery, or even their chances of survival.’’
Now with the ability to intervene in the earliest stages of apoptosis, before irreversible damage occurs, Huang added that the next phases of research on the compound will involve “applying the knowledge we have gained to more advanced models of disease’’.
“There could be applications for keeping cells alive to prevent degenerative diseases,’’ he said.