Researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine have developed a new gene therapy that is safe and effective in reversing advanced heart failure. SERCA2a (produced as MYDICAR®) is a gene therapy designed to stimulate production of an enzyme that enables the failing heart to pump more effectively. In a Phase II study, SERCA2a injection through a routine minimally invasive cardiac catheterization was safe and showed clinical benefit in treating this patient population and decreasing the severity of heart failure. The data were presented this week at the Heart Failure Congress of the European Society of Cardiology in Berlin.
Patients in the high-dose SERCA2a group demonstrated improvement and/or stabilization in symptoms, overall heart function, biomarker activity, and ventricular mechanics and function. They also saw a dramatic reduction in cardiovascular hospitalizations, averaging 0.4 days versus 4.5 days in the placebo group.
The CUPID (Calcium Up-regulation by Percutaneous administration of gene therapy In cardiac Disease) trial is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, which enrolled 39 patients with advanced heart failure to study the safety and efficacy of SERCA2a. Patients were randomized to receive SERCA2a gene delivery in one of three doses or placebo and were evaluated over six months. The treatment is delivered directly to the patient’s heart during a routine outpatient catheterization procedure.
Patients in the SERCA2a group demonstrated improvement or stabilization in symptoms, heart function, and severity of heart failure. They also saw an increase in time between cardiovascular events and a decrease in frequency of events. SERCA2a was found to be safe, with no increases in adverse events, disease-related events, laboratory abnormalities, or arrhythmias compared to placebo.