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MyoKardia Announces Inaugural MyoSeeds™ Research Grants Program Awardees

Three Researchers Awarded $250,000 Each to Advance Independent Research in Cardiac Diseases

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., May 07, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- MyoKardia, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company pioneering precision medicine for the treatment of serious cardiovascular diseases, today announced the award of $750,000 divided among three innovative research projects through the first cycle of its MyoSeeds™ Research Grants Program (“MyoSeeds”).  MyoSeeds is MyoKardia’s initiative intended to support original, independent research in the biology and underlying mechanisms of cardiomyopathies, and approaches to precision heart disease treatment as part of the company’s mission to change the world for people with serious cardiovascular diseases. 

“MyoSeeds grants are reflective of our efforts to target the underlying drivers of cardiac diseases, with the ultimate goal of improving patient care through better diagnosis and treatment options.  We are not just investing in the advancement of our own programs, but also seek a variety of creative ways to foster a broader community with a shared commitment to better understand and address cardiomyopathies,” said Robert McDowell, PhD., MyoKardia’s Chief Scientific Officer.  “The positive response to the MyoSeeds Research Grants Program surpassed our expectations and we congratulate our inaugural class of MyoSeeds fellows and thank all of the applicants for their proposals.”

Over 50 applicants participated in a competitive review process, in which proposals were assessed for scientific merit, feasibility and impact of the proposed project, and alignment with the research priorities for the funding cycle. Three projects have been selected for the 2019 annual funding cycle and will receive $250,000 each in support of their research project.  This year’s MyoSeeds grant recipients join a growing community of industry, academic and clinical researchers striving to shed new light on the underlying drivers of heart disease. 

  • Helena Kenny, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Scholar, University of Iowa 
    Topic: Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and heart failure  
    Dr. Kenny has developed novel models of ER stress, which she will use to dissect underlying contributors to progression of heart failure.
  • Peder Larson, PhD, Associate Professor, University of California, San Francisco 
    Topic: Age-related changes in energy and metabolism in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) 
    Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy increases the energy used during each contraction of the heart.  Dr. Larson is investigating the use of non-invasive cardiac magnetic resonance imaging to understand shifts in energetic burden in the HCM heart over time.
  • Sakthivel Sadayappan, PhD, Professor of Internal Medicine, University of Cincinnati, College of Medicine 
    Topic: Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in populations of South Asian descendants 
    Dr. Sadayappan’s lab is committed to elucidating the causes of sarcomeric disease at the molecular level. He will investigate the molecular consequences of the D389V mutation in cMyBP-C and its interplay with myosin.

MyoKardia plans to initiate the 2020 funding cycle for MyoSeeds Research Grants Program in the second half of 2019 to support research focused on basic biology of the heart and cardiomyopathies.  Priority research areas for funding will be announced prior to each cycle.  MyoKardia’s research and drug development efforts are focused on applying a precision medicine approach to the treatment of cardiomyopathies by establishing a deep understanding of the biology of the disease, creating novel drugs that are targeted to that biology and identifying subgroups of patients with shared disease characteristics who are most likely to benefit from a targeted treatment.  Currently, more than 1.5 million individuals in the U.S. are affected by HCM or dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), the two most prevalent forms of heritable cardiomyopathy. There are no approved medical therapies that target the underlying defects in contractility characteristic of HCM or DCM. 

About MyoKardia
MyoKardia is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company pioneering a precision medicine approach to discover, develop and commercialize targeted therapies for the treatment of serious cardiovascular diseases. MyoKardia’s initial focus is on the development of small molecule therapeutics aimed at the cardiac muscle proteins that modulate cardiac muscle contraction and underlie diseases of systolic and diastolic dysfunction. Based on an in-depth understanding of disease biology, MyoKardia applies a precision medicine approach to develop its therapeutic candidates for patient populations with shared characteristics, such as causal genetic mutations or disease subtypes. MyoKardia’s most advanced product candidate is mavacamten (formerly MYK-461), a novel, oral, allosteric modulator of cardiac myosin intended to reduce hypercontractility. Mavacamten has advanced into a pivotal Phase 3 clinical trial, known as EXPLORER-HCM, in patients with symptomatic, obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). MyoKardia is also developing mavacamten in a second indication, non-obstructive HCM, in the Phase 2 MAVERICK-HCM clinical trial. MYK-491, MyoKardia’s second product candidate, is designed to increase cardiac output among patients with systolic heart dysfunction by increasing the overall extent of the heart’s cardiac contractility. MyoKardia is currently evaluating MYK-491 in a Phase 1b/2a study in stable heart failure patients.

MyoKardia’s mission is to change the world for patients with serious cardiovascular disease through bold and innovative science.

Contacts:
For questions about the MyoSeeds Grants Program, please contact: myoseeds@myokardia.com

Michelle Corral (investors)
Senior Director, Corporate Communications and Investor Relations
MyoKardia, Inc.
650-351-4690
ir@myokardia.com

Steven Cooper (media)
Edelman
415-486-3264
steven.cooper@edelman.com