Congestive heart failure is a fatal disease and a major disease burden for the community affecting nearly half a million Australians.
In collaboration with Paul Alewood from the University of Queensland and David Kaye from the Baker Institute, we have identified a novel natriuretic peptide isolated from the venom of the inland Taipan and optimised it as a treatment for congestive heart failure. Natriuretic peptides are part of the body's natural response to heart failure and have multiple effects, including vasodilation, increasing sodium excretion, diuresis and decreasing the synthesis of injurious neurohormones. The benefit of this work is that the peptide has been optimised for potency and stability allowing it to be administered by subcutaneous injection, rather than by continuous intravenous infusion. This would improve the quality of life for patients, reduce hospital costs, and hopefully improve the efficacy of the treatment.