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UH professor’s work may yield heart drug

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A new biotechnology firm has licensed technology from the University of Hawaii with the intention of developing new drugs to treat and prevent heart failure.

Makai Biotechnology LLC will be using intellectual property developed by Alexander Stokes, an assistant professor of cell and molecular biology at the John A. Burns School of Medicine and licensed via the UH Office of Technology Transfer & Economic Development.

Stokes’ lab at the medical school recently published data from pre-clinical trials showing that inhibition of a biochemical sensor can protect the heart from dangerous changes associated with enlargement of the heart and subsequent heart failure.

Makai Biotechnology was founded by Stokes and David Watu-mull, CEO of the life sciences company Cardax.

The university holds an interest in Makai Biotechnology and may receive future revenue derived from its licensed property.

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