PharmaWatch: Google Financed Verve Therapeutics to Use CRISPR to Target Heart Disease

CRISPR

Sharon Begley of Stat News reports that superstar cardiologist Dr. Sekar Kathiresan of Verv Therapeutics cataloged genes associated with coronary artery disease and found nearly 60: some that decimate blood levels of LDL (Bad cholesterol) and therefore protect against heart attack, some that cause inflammation of arteries and so raise the risk of heart attacks, and scores more with effects on triglycerides, blood vessels and other risk factors.

Dr. Kathiresan came out of stealth mode with his venture Verve Therapeutics recently, with $58.5 million in seed funding led by GV (Google Ventures), aims to develop CRISPR gene editing therapies as one and done treatments for heart disease.

Apparently, Verve plans on altering people’s DNA to turn risk sharing or even neutral genes into variants that protect against heart disease, including by slashing levels of triglycerides and cholesterol. Kathiresan states “we think we can confer resistance to heart attacks that will last a life time.  Kathiresan resigned as director of the Center for Genomic Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital to act as Verve’s CEO.