MEDICS are to develop a groundbreaking gene therapy that aims to cut the risk of a heart attack with one injection.
Research shows some people have natural mutations that dramatically lower levels of “bad cholesterol” — a major factor in many cardiac arrests.
Getty – Contributor Statins are one of the main therapies for cardiovascular disease but they could be rendered obselete
The jab will mimic such people’s natural defence by modifying genes in the liver that make bad cholesterol.
Patients will have an injection of tiny fatty spheres which enter liver cells.
The spheres, called nanolipids, turn off the gene which makes bad cholesterol.
Only 30-40 per cent of the gene needs to be silenced to protect against a heart attack. Sekar Kathiresan, who runs Verve Therapeutics, will develop the jab.
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He said: “We want this not only for people who have heart attacks at a young age because of a genetic disorder, but for garden variety heart attacks as well.”
Cardiovascular disease accounts for a quarter of all deaths in England and costs the NHS £7billion a year. Statins are one of the main therapies.
It is hoped to roll out a trial jab within three years to people with rare genetic disorders that make them prone to early heart attacks.
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