Next Big Future - "Gene Therapy To Fix Failing Hearts Works In Pigs And Will Be Tried In Humans In 2018" - Brian Wang
Scientists have been able to reverse heart failure in pigs by delivering a new gene to the heart that makes it better at pumping blood and supplying the body with oxygen. The goal is to reverse heart failure with a single injection. This time around, Roger Hajjar, MD, director of the cardiovascular research center and professor of medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and his team have reengineered the viral vector to make it more effective at delivering the new gene to the heart. The gene therapy was safe and reduced heart failure by 25 percent in the left ventricle and 20 percent in the left atrium. Dr. Hajjar said more patients with heart failure have problems in the left ventricle. The treatment also reduced the size of the animals’ enlarged hearts by ten percent. The pig heart and other organs are about the same size as human organs. The researchers plan to begin enrolling people with advanced congestive heart failure in the clinical trial next year.
- Roger Hajjar, MD, Director, Cardiovascular Research Center, Arthur & Janet C. Ross Professor, Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai