The British Heart Foundation (BHF) announced that it will invest £30 million in CureHeart to develop a cure for genetic cardiomyopathies.
CureHeart, a research programme seeking to develop revolutionary gene therapy technologies that could rewrite genes that cause cardiomyopathies, was announced by BHF as the winner of the global Big Beat Challenge award. The winning team is co-led by leading international researchers and scientists, Professor Hugh Watkins of the University of Oxford and Dr Christine Seidman of Harvard Medical School, who will work to develop the first cures for inherited heart muscle diseases.
This is a huge step towards preventing premature death from genetic cardiomyopathies that take the lives of young people much too soon. It is estimated that 1 in 250 people worldwide are affected by genetic cardiomyopathies with a 50% chance that they will pass on faulty genes to each of their children. With the £30 million, the CureHeart team will harness the existing wealth of evidence on the genes and faults responsible for different cardiomyopathies and the revolutionary gene-editing technology of CRISPR to find a cure for these diseases.
This is the largest and most ambitious research grant in BHF history and this funding could have future implications for other heart conditions caused by genetic faults. Not only could CureHeart develop the first cure for inherited heart muscle diseases, but if successful, the same innovations could also be used to treat a range of heart conditions where genetic faults play a role.
Follow this link to hear BHF Chief Executive and EHN President, Dr Charmaine Griffiths, introduce CureHeart and keep an eye out for progress in their quest to find a cure!