An End to Heart Attacks?

This deep dive focuses on Verve Therapeutics - a genome engineering company targeting cholesterol-causing genes to clear arteries and put an end to heart attacks.

In the US alone, one person dies of a heart attack every 36 seconds [1]. By the time, you are finished reading this newsletter, someone will have lost a family member and loved one.

One of the greatest risk factors for a heart attack is high cholesterol levels, which can have a genetic component. Today, we use pills and injections tolower cholesterol levels to reduce the risk of heart attacks, but these drugs often have to be taken life long.

Verve Therapeutics is developing a one-shot solution: using CRISPR to change your DNA and stop the build up of bad cholesterol.

“We’re on the cusp of potentially transforming that model to a one-and-done treatment,” says Sekar Kathiresan, chief executive officer of Verve Tx.

Right now, Verve Tx is targeting people who have already had a heart attack, but if it works to reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL, e.g. "bad" cholesterol") they may eventually aim to give it to young people who are at a greater risk of having a heart attack as a preventative measure. (Heart attack "vaccine" anyone?! 🤯)