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Editorial - December 2023

ESC Working Group on Cardiovascular Regenerative & Reparative Medicine

Dear members,

The recent retreat of the ESC Working Group on Cardiovascular Regenerative and Reparative Medicine (CARE WG), held on 20 November, 2023, in Brussels, was a fundamental event. It brought together leading experts to discuss the latest advancements and future directions in cardiovascular regenerative medicine. The agenda addressed innovative approaches in the field of novel therapeutic strategies.

Prof. Mauro Giacca gave an insightful presentation on the targeted delivery of biologics to the heart. His session provided a comprehensive overview of current strategies and emerging technologies in delivering therapeutic agents directly to cardiac tissues, focusing on RNA therapeutics.

Dr. Joel Rurik focused on using FAB CAR T cells to treat myocardial fibrosis. This pioneering approach represents a novel strategy to address the myocardial fibrotic process, with an innovative “in vivo” transient T lymphocytes conditioning. He used CD5-targeted lipid nanoparticle to deliver modified mRNA encoding chimeric antigen receptor to T cells in vivo and specifically eliminate activated fibroblasts. This innovative antifibrotic therapeutics address  not only myocardial fibrosis but also aortic stenosis.

Professor Thomas Thum then delved into therapeutics based on non-coding RNAs. His session shed light on the potential of RNA-based treatments, mainly focusing on the role of miR-132. He discussed how CDR132L improved cardiac function by impacting multiple pathways. He also shared insights into the translational journey of CDR132L deletion with antisense oligonucleotide (ASO), highlighting its progression through the phase 1b trial and the ongoing HF-REVERT phase 2 trial.

During a brainstorming session, participants engaged in comprehensive discussions about the evolving landscape of heart regeneration technologies. They meticulously evaluated the strengths and weaknesses of various targeting technologies, emphasizing the critical importance of accurately and efficiently targeting injured cardiac tissue with next-generation advanced therapies.

This retreat fostered a collaborative environment of in-depth discussions and exchange of ideas and outlined the next steps to be assessed and disseminated within the CARE community.

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