Genetic defects are the cause of half of all heart transplants and are the leading cause of heart death in young people. The new procedure involves injecting a healthy version of the faulty gene into a patient’s arm to allow the production of proteins that lead to normal heart function.
CureHeart Group is behind the treatment, having received £30million from the British Heart Foundation to perfect its technology.
Professor Hugh Watkins, CureHeart Project Manager, University of Oxford, said: “This is our unique opportunity to relieve families of the constant worry of sudden death, heart failure and the need potential for a heart transplant.”
“After 30 years of research, we have discovered many specific genes and genetic defects responsible for different cardiomyopathies, and how they work.”
“We believe we will have a gene therapy ready to be tested in clinical trials within the next five years.”
“It’s absolutely something that will work out in the end, it’s just a matter of time.”
Every week in the UK, 12 people under the age of 35 die of undiagnosed heart disease, very often caused by an inherited disease of the heart muscle.
Junior football star Daniel Yorath, 15, was playing with his father Terry, the former Wales and Leeds United legend, in their garden in 1992 when he collapsed and died.
A post-mortem examination revealed that Daniel suffered from a condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, in which the heart muscle becomes abnormally thick, making the heart harder.
to pump blood.