Columbia University

Technology Ventures

Endothelial derived factors to treat heart failure

Technology #cu14099

Questions about this technology? Ask a Technology Manager

Download Printable PDF

Image Gallery
Steven Marx
Managed By
Jerry Kokoshka

Current approaches to the treatment of heart failure target systemic causes of vascular dysfunction. Patients can quickly develop tolerance towards these treatments, however, making them unsuitable for long-term use. This technology presents an alternative approach in the treatment of heart failure, by targeting heart muscle cells, specifically. Further, it identifies molecules that activate endothelial-derived channels, ultimately inducing vasodilation, a critical component in treating heart failure. As such, this technology presents a new class of therapeutics that avoid systemic drug tolerance, improving survival after heart failure and other heart diseases.

Alternative, localized, therapy for the treatment of heart failure

While most current treatments for heart failure target systemic causes of vascular dysfunction, this technology targets the intrinsic dysfunctions of vascular muscle cells. During heart failure, vascular muscle cells display altered electrical properties. This technology limits the depolarizing currents that muscle cells experience during heart failure, by activating endothelial-derived channels through small molecule activators. This leads to vasodilation and improves blood flow and vascular contractility. Furthermore, unlike other marketed therapeutics, this technology is Big Potassium (BK) channel independent, thus circumventing issues of drug tolerance. As a result, this technology presents a new class of therapeutics that is may enhance efficacy in the treatment of heart failure and other related types of heart disease.

This technology has been tested in rat tissues and has been shown to improve coronary blood flow and vascular contractility.

Lead Inventor:

Steven Marx, MD


  • Medication to treat myocardial infarction
  • Medication to improve post heart failure survival
  • New treatment for hypertension
  • Small molecule drug libraries for screening endothelial activated SK and IK channel agonists
  • Mechanistic and pathway biomedical research on hyperpolarization in endothelial and vascular smooth muscle
  • Mechanistic understanding of SK and IK pathway
  • New treatment for other heart diseases


  • Improves survival after heart failure
  • Reduces severity of heart attacks
  • Circumvents the problem of drug tolerance
  • Longer half-lives
  • Higher efficacy

Patent Information:

Patent Pending (WO2010126609)

Tech Ventures Reference: IR CU14099, CU15181

Related Publications:

*Wan, E., J.S. Kushner, S. Zakharov, X.W. Nui, N. Chudasama, C. Kelly, M. Waase, D. Doshi, G. Liu, S. Iwata, T. Shiomi, A. Katchman, J. D’Armiento, S. Homma, and S.O. Marx. “Reduced vascular smooth muscle BK channel current underlies heart failure-induced vasoconstriction in mice” FASEB Journal. May 2013; 27(5): 1859-1867.