New Heart Treatment Breakthrough: Moving from daily doses to a one-day wonder, the new cholesterol-lowering drug promises an instant 50% reduction in bad cholesterol with a single shot.
Millions who rely on daily statin therapy may soon see a shift to a groundbreaking gene therapy, which scientists say could halve ‘bad’ cholesterol with just one administration.
This innovative approach, presented at the American Heart Association’s annual event, targets the very genetic blueprint of cholesterol-producing cells, offering a potential one-shot solution to high cholesterol.
The injection, known as Verve-101, has already demonstrated a dramatic reduction [by more than 50%] in ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol in initial trials.
Professor Karol Watson from Los Angeles envisions this as the dawn of an exciting new era in cardiac care, citing the durability of the gene-editing effects.
The team behind Verve-101, still in the nascent stages of research, suggests that their work could mark the end of high cholesterol as a chronic condition.
Dr. Sekar Kathiresan, a cardiologist involved with the development of Verve-101, believes that this one-time therapy signifies the future of heart disease treatment.
To date, the treatment has been applied to nine patients with familial hypercholesterolemia, a condition that elevates LDL cholesterol to dangerous levels.
With plans to broaden the trials to include a more diverse patient group, the team is optimistic about making the treatment broadly available within the next few years.
Leveraging CRISPR technology, Verve-101 can precisely alter DNA to tackle cholesterol at its source. Unlike other gene therapies with exorbitant costs, Verve-101 promises to be economically viable for mass production, potentially aligning with the costs of other heart procedures.
According to Dr. Kathiresan, while some treatments using CRISPR technology can be prohibitively expensive, reaching prices over £1 million per dose, Verve-101 stands out for its potential for mass production, which could make it a more accessible option.
Statins have long been the cornerstone of cholesterol management in the U.S., with millions of prescriptions issued annually. While effective in reducing the risks of heart attacks and strokes, the prospect of a lasting solution without the need for daily medication is compelling.
Safety remains the paramount concern for such a novel treatment, with the ethical implications of gene editing at the forefront of discussions.
The Chief Scientific and Medical Officer at Verve Therapeutics, Dr. Andrew Bellinger, announced plans to initiate expansive trials involving thousands of individuals with heart disease in 2025.
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