Published: Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

National Hospital delighted to be part of UK’s first gene therapy trial for heart failure 


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Scotland’s National Hospital is delighted to be part of the UK’s first clinical trial of gene therapy for heart failure.



The Golden Jubilee National Hospital, home to the Scottish National Advanced Heart Failure Service (SNAHFS), will participate in one of two trials announced today (Tuesday 30 April 2013) by the British Heart Foundation (BHF).



The CUPID2 study, which will be led by cardiologists and scientists at the Royal Brompton Hospital and Imperial College London, will shortly begin treating a group of patients to assess the gene therapy after laboratory studies found it can be used to effectively restore function to the failing heart.


About the gene therapy trial



The gene therapy works by inserting a gene, called SERCA2a, directly into heart cells using a specially modified virus. SERCA2a is a protein which controls the uptake of calcium – a key signalling molecule – into specialised stores in heart cells.



The study will assess whether cardiac gene therapy to increase a protein called SERCA2a – which is involved in calcium signalling in heart cells – is safe and can improve both quality and length of life, and reduce emergency hospital admissions, for patients.



The Golden Jubilee National Hospital and the Royal Brompton Hospital are the UK recruitment centres for this multi-centre, international trial, which aims to recruit 200 patients who have severe chronic heart failure and are currently on ‘optimal’ treatment.



Carried out in the Cardiovascular Biomedical Research Unit a the Royal Brompton Hospital, the double-blind, randomised, controlled trial, will see 100 people with heart failure receive the active SERCA2a gene therapy, with another 100 receiving a control placebo (dummy) infusion.


Dr Mark Petrie, Director of the Scottish National Advanced Heart Failure Service, and the Golden Jubilee’s Principal Investigator for CUPID2, commented: “As a national service treating Scottish patients with the most serious heart failure, it is vital that we are at the forefront of new research and developments.



“Following the introduction of the Scottish mechanical heart service in 2011, we are delighted to now be participating in the first UK gene therapy trial for patients with chronic heart failure. By participating in a trial that will assess the safety and effectiveness of this new gene therapy, we are contributing to advances in medicine that could make a real difference to the quality of life for our patients in the future.”


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