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Erin Fairchild
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New heart failure working group pulls expertise from across globe

Houston, TX - 8/14/2006

Methodist DeBakey Heart Center cardiologist Guillermo Torre-Amione and cardiologist Gadi Cotter, from the Duke Clinical Research Institute in Durham, N.C., have pulled together more than 30 international heart failure experts to try to solve this serious cardiac problem.

“Our purpose is to be a ‘working’ group to encourage intellectual and interactive collaboration and to continually improve upon the planning and performance of clinical trials,” Torre said. “Heart failure affects 4.8 million people in the U.S. alone, with 400,000 new cases reported annually. We want to get the best minds together to solve this problem, reduce the burden of this illness, and provide better treatments for patients with heart failure.”

The Heart Failure Working Group (HFWG) from the U.S., Europe, Africa and South America will work to develop new therapies for heart failure; support new research with an established group of investigators; and establish a research consortium to help standardize and facilitate new research.
After several meetings in 2005, the need to collaborate and align top expertise across the world became very apparent, Torre said. The HFWG met in Helsinki, Finland, in June 2006 to discuss new ideas for European/US collaboration and potential pilot projects in the areas of myocardial contrast echocardiography for acute heart failure and dyssynchrony in diastolic heart failure, among others.

“By pulling together the top minds in an intimate and long-term working group, we hope to speed discovery of new approaches, new treatments and new cures for heart failure,” Torre said.