Kinera: Ischemic Disease

Ischemia is a life-threatening condition that occurs when there is a restriction in the vessels supplying blood and oxygen to organs. In the tissues of the brain and heart restriction of oxygen supply can cause irreversible damage and death may occur within minutes if left untreated.   

Cellmid holds a strong patent portfolio around the novel use of midkine (MK) in the treatment and prevention of ischemic diseases. The Company, in collaboration with PharmaHungary has a pre-clinical program in place (CMK103) to evaluate MK in the treatment of acute and chronic myocardial infarction (MI).

Cardiovascular disease is a major global health issue, with over 32.4 million myocardial infarctions and strokes worldwide each year.  Cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of death worldwide representing 31% of all deaths (17.3 million p.a, expected to rise to 23.6 million by 2030).  Of these deaths 7.4 million are due to coronary heart disease.  Not all cardiovascular ischemic events are fatal, with many patients surviving and progressing to further ischemic events (which make up 30% of total events), and many patients experience progressive and debilitating consequences that eventually lead to death.

Cellmid’s CMK103 treatment aims to meet the vast and currently unmet need for new compounds that reduce the damage to tissues that occur after a heart attack. The damage to the heart muscle can lead to progressive heart failure and reducing the initial damage can improve long term outcomes.    Research has shown that acute and chronic treatment with MK protein prevents cell death, also known as apoptosis, and protects the muscle from dysfunctional remodelling.  The treatment not only reduces acute mortality, but results in improved long term cardiac outputs and reduced longer term mortality in animal models.    Cellmids CMK103 is the only known compound with both anti-apoptotic and pro-angiogenic properties for the treatment of MI.



The global cost and healthcare burden of cardiovascular and ischemic diseases is highly significant and will increase as the population ages.  In the West, an increasing proportion of the population is entering the high risk age group of those 65 and older; 23% of the Australian population will be in this age group by 2050.  As it stands, the direct and indirect costs of cardiovascular disease and stroke are estimated to be US$ 320.1 billion in the USA and AUD$ 17.9 billion in Australia, while the direct cost of myocardial infarcts in the UK accounts for 1% of the entire NHS budget.   

The total global market for drugs for ischemic heart disease is expected to reach US$20 billion by 2020. Cellmid’s CMK103 treatment has strong potential to position itself within this drug market.  Following from this, and guided by our cardiac program, Cellmid hopes to explore the use of midkine for the treatment of stroke.