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New hope in gene therapies for heart failure

Tuesday, November 14th, 2017 | bitcoin updates

          
    
    
    
             Researchers in New York have developed a new gene therapy for heart failure. Tests on pigs have been promising, a clinical study with humans could follow.
            

        

        Successful trials on pigs raise new hopes for gene therapy to cure patients suffering from heart failure. In a study by researchers from the New York Icahn School of Medicine, 6 out of 13 animals with severe heart failure were treated with the therapy. On average, heart failure in the left ventricle decreased by 25 percent and in the left atrium by 20 percent. In addition, the enlarged hearts of pigs were reduced by 10 percent through therapy, reports Technology Review online in "With Genes Against Heart Failure".

    

    

Roger Hajjar, the head of the team, plans to start attracting people with advanced congestive heart failure to participate in a clinical trial next year. Heart failure does not stop the heart from beating. But it is difficult to pump enough blood through the body. It tries to make up for that by growing and beating faster, but eventually it will not keep up. The consequences are fatigue and difficulty breathing.
Unlike other gene therapies, Hajjars does not aim to remedy a single gene mutation in patients. Instead, it targets a common episode of disease, in this case the protein phosphatase-1, which is abundant in heart failure. With the administration of a gene, which is transported to the heart with the help of a virus, the production of the protein should be regulated. Injected therapy would be via the radial or femoral artery, the largest in the human body.
More at Technology Review online:
(SMA)

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