Google Backs Startup For Treating Heart Disease Via CRISPR Injections
Once in our life we all are jealous of that friend or colleague of ours who keep on filling themselves with those crispy potato chips or those delightful momos, doesn’t exercise at all and still don’t turn fat – don’t develop any heart disease!! Damm, they have those lucky genes!!
Alphabet – Google’s parent company have jumped into backing a startup company called – Verve Therapeutics to utilize CRISPR gene editing technique to spread those lucky genes in people prone to heart disease via one time CRISPR cas9 loaded injections. Verve Therapeutics has raised $58.5 million from Alphabet’s venture fund, GV till date.
Cardiologists say that these CRISPR- DNA tweaking injections could lead to life-long protection against heart disease.
How Verve Therapeutic’s approach is different?
Most of the gene-therapy based companies are targetting rare diseases like hemophilia and others, on the other hand, Verve researchers idea is to edit an individual’s DNA that could solve the sole problem- death.
Some people genetically have low levels of bad cholesterol. Scientists have a list of genetic mutations that can prevent an individual from heart disease. Verve therapeutics plans to utilize these set of genes and induce them for a beneficial mutation in people.
Though the list of genetic mutations is kept secretive, Verve scientists are believed to be targeting peoples liver, where the fat is processed before they enter into the arteries.
Verve announced that it is also partnering with Google’s sister company – Verily Life Sciences to figure out ways to deliver the CRISPR loaded injections.
The research at Verve is headed by Sekar Kathiresan, a geneticist – who is leaving his work at Broad Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts to join Verve after his brothers’ death due to a heart attack.
Currently, statin pills, regulatory diet, and exercise are the only means to avoid heart disease risks, but most of the people have a tough time following this regime. Verve scientists if are able to install these lucky genes, one may not need to do any of it. As per Kathiresan, this treatment can be used on adults who had heart attacks earlier and want to prevent any other.
Though Verve is planning to stick to try these CRISPR injections in Adults only, it would be tempting enough for them to attempt it in embryos too upon getting success in Adults.
With recent developments like Transplantable Arteries Grown From Stem Cells, the day is not far these companies with the help of research advancement can make humanity clear of all heart ailments.