Scientists are working on drug that ‘silences’ leading cause of heart attacks

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Scientists are working on drug that ‘silences’ leading cause of heart attacks

  • Gene defect increases the amount of a fatty protein and causes the blood to clot too easily
  • This occurs in potentially dangerous levels in 20 percent of the population
  • Researchers are trying to develop ways to lower protein levels
  • The goal is to get a long-term injectable drug that is given only a few times a year

Scientists are working on a way to ‘silence’ a genetic error that increases the risk of heart attacks.

The defect increases the amount of a fatty protein called lipoprotein (a), which is found in potentially dangerous levels in 20 percent of the population.

It causes the blood to clot too easily and cannot be controlled by lifestyle changes.

Researchers are trying to develop new ways to lower the level using so-called ‘RNA inhibitors’.

Scientists are working on a way to silence a genetic error that increases the risk of heart attacks

Scientists are working on a way to ‘silence’ a genetic error that increases heart attack risk

The goal is to develop a long-term injectable drug that is only given a few times a year.

The Anglo-German pharmaceutical company Silence Therapeutics will soon start a small clinical trial in the US and Europe with a drug called ‘SLN360’.

NHS cardiologist Professor Kausik Ray, director of the Imperial Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention, who is involved in the study, said: ‘Therapies with RNA inhibitors such as SLN360 have the potential to provide a safe and effective solution for patients, responding to a significant unmet need in cardiovascular disease. ‘

Swiss firm Novartis recently revealed positive early-stage results in patients with very high Lp (a) who received weekly injections of its medicine, with LP (a) levels dropping to 80 percent. The American company Amgen has seen a decrease of more than 90 percent in the first patients treated with the drug olpasiran.

The defect increases the amount of a fatty protein called lipoprotein (a), which is found in potentially dangerous levels in 20 percent of the population.  It causes the blood to clot too easily and cannot be controlled by lifestyle changes

The defect increases the amount of a fatty protein called lipoprotein (a), which is found in potentially dangerous levels in 20 percent of the population. It causes the blood to clot too easily and cannot be controlled by lifestyle changes

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