Gene therapy created for heart failure

June 3, 2010 at 4:26 PM
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NEW YORK, June 3 (UPI) -- Mount Sinai School of Medicine scientists in New York say they've developed a gene therapy that's safe and effective in reversing advanced heart failure.

The researchers said the therapy, called Mydicar, is designed to stimulate production of an enzyme that enables the failing heart to pump more effectively. In a Phase II study, injection of the gene SERCA2a through a routine, minimally invasive cardiac catheterization was safe and showed clinical benefit in treating and decreasing the severity of heart failure.

"SERCA2a met the primary endpoints and appears to be safe and effective in people with advanced heart failure," said Dr. Jill Kalman, a trial investigator and director of the medical school's cardiomyopathy program. "There is a significant unmet need for treatments in this patient population, and these data indicate SERCA2a is a promising option for them."

The data was presented this week in Berlin during the Heart Failure Congress of the European Society of Cardiology.

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