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World-Leading Scientists On The Brink Of Curing Genetic Heart Diseases For The First Time In History

In a groundbreaking new research, scientists will rewrite DNA to create the world's first cure for genetic heart conditions, in a "defining moment" for cardiovascular medicine.

The world-leading scientists from the UK, US and Singapore have collaborated on this CureHeart Project to design a jab for heart patients. According to news reports, the British Heart Foundation awarded a sum of 30 million euros for this life-saving project.

It will be the first time researchers will use precision genetic techniques, known as base and prime editing, in the heart to design and test the first cure for inherited heart muscle diseases, with the goal of silencing faulty genes.

Take a look at the details.

What Are Inherited Heart Conditions?

Inherited heart disease is an umbrella term that includes all the heart conditions passed down from parents to their children. They're also known as genetic cardiac conditions.

When one or both parents have a faulty or mutated gene, there is a 50/50 chance of passing it on to the children. Some of the inherited heart conditions are hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and hypercholesterolemia.

Some individuals with an inherited heart condition may not experience many symptoms. The condition is diagnosed only after a sudden heart attack, fainting or sudden cardiac death. [1]

In the UK, around 500 young individuals die every year due to genetic heart disease. Also, the condition affects around 0.8 to 1.2 per cent of newborns worldwide. [2]

About The Research

An advisory panel chaired by Prof Sir Patrick Vallance, who is the UK government's chief scientific adviser, chose the team behind the latest research. Another professor, Hugh Watkins, who is from the University of Oxford and is also the lead investigator of CureHeart, spoke about cardiomyopathies saying that it is a really "common" condition worldwide and is known to affect one in every 250 individuals.

"This is our once-in-generation opportunity to relieve families of the constant worry of sudden death, heart failure and the potential need for a heart transplant," he said. Watkins added, "After 30 years of research, we have discovered many of the genes and specific genetic faults responsible for different cardiomyopathies and how they work. We believe that we will have a gene therapy ready to start testing in clinical trials in the next five years."

It is hoped the new research programme will permanently correct the mutant genes responsible for causing heart problems.

A Harvard Medical School professor and co-leader of the project Christine Seidman explained that the goal was to "fix the hearts" and restore them to normal function.

"Most of the mutations that we find in our human patients - and there are a lot of them - they all frequently change one single letter of the DNA code. This has raised the possibility that we could change just one letter and restore the code so that it is correct," she said.

What Are The Possibilities Of CureHeart's Success?

According to the researchers of the study, they have yet to conduct human trials, but the trials carried out on animals have been successful and promising.

Also, in the research, pioneers from around the world who are experts in gene editing and related techniques have come together, making the mission a global-level effort in curing inherited heart diseases.

"We've brought in pioneers in new, ultra-precise gene editing, as well as techniques experts, to ensure we get our genetic tools safely into the heart." Our initial dream should become a reality thanks to our world-class team from three continents.

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To Conclude

According to the experts, this gene therapy will be ready for human trials in the next five years. People who are at risk of inherited heart disease due to the presence of faulty genes in their family may be able to receive a cure before the development of their disease. It may also give relief to a family that their future generations are safe from the condition.

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