Technology Co-Invented by THI Scientists In the News

Technology co-invented by scientists at the Texas Heart Institute and 7 Hills Pharma received broad patent protection from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on four patents covering the company’s use’s novel integrin activators with any therapeutic antibody, any checkpoint inhibitor for immuno-oncology, and any vaccine.

According to Woodside, “ These particular integrins are essential for generating productive antigen-specific immune responses. Our approach represents a novel strategy to enhance immune responsiveness to cancer therapies and vaccines,” said Darren Woodside, Ph.D., Texas Heart Institute Vice President for Research and co-inventor.

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Feature Image: Confocal images of Human T cell line HPB-ALL spread on VCAM-1 with buffer (left) or integrin activator THI0019 (right). DAPI (blue), phalloidin (red)anti-a4 integrin (green)  Vanderslice, P., Biediger, R. J., Woodside, D. G., Brown, W. S., Khounlo, S., Warier, N. D., Gundlach, C. W., 4th, Caivano, A. R., Bornmann, W. G., Maxwell, D. S., McIntyre, B. W., Willerson, J. T., & Dixon, R. A. (2013). Small molecule agonist of very late antigen-4 (VLA-4) integrin induces progenitor cell adhesion. The Journal of biological chemistry, 288(27), 19414–19428.



The Texas Heart Institute, founded by world-renowned cardiovascular surgeon Dr. Denton A. Cooley in 1962, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing the devastating toll of cardiovascular disease through innovative and progressive programs in research, education, and improved patient care. THI’s scientists and physicians conduct fundamental biomedical, translational, and clinical research in cardiology, cardiovascular surgery, molecular-based medicine, stem cell and gene therapy, and regenerative medicine both independently and in collaboration with organizations worldwide. As global leaders of patient care for nearly six decades, Texas Heart Institute has been ranked among the top cardiovascular centers in the United States by U.S. News & World Report for the past 30 years. THI is dedicated to spreading awareness and sharing updates on ways to prevent, treat and defeat cardiovascular disease. With over 10 million visitors coming to its website from around the world every year, is just one of the ways THI is helping to educate people on the importance of heart health. For more information, please visit