‘It’s Super Exciting’: CRISPR-Based Cholesterol Treatment Successful In Monkeys, Moves Into Human Trials
Verve Therapeutics says its one-time treatment significantly reduced LDL cholesterol for six months. The company hopes to begin clinical trials next year on people born with HeFH, a genetic heart disease that causes lifelong, high LDL levels. Other news is on Intarcia Therapeutics and AI tools.
Verve Selects Its First CRISPR Base Editing Treatment For Human Trials
Verve Therapeutics said Tuesday its one-time treatment that uses the “base editing” form of CRISPR to remove a cholesterol-associated gene in monkeys has demonstrated durable and significant reductions in LDL “bad” cholesterol for six months. Based on these new data, Verve intends to advance the treatment, called VERVE-101, into clinical development for people born with heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia, or HeFH, a genetic heart disease that causes lifelong, high LDL levels. (Feuerstein, 1/12)
Key Investor Writes Down Stake In Former Diabetes Unicorn Intarcia
Intarcia Therapeutics, a one-time biotech unicorn that has been unable to secure approval for a diabetes implant, has lost the support of a major Chinese investor and is being forced to auction lab equipment for the cash it needs to remain in business. China-based Luxin Venture Capital Group has written down to zero its investment in Intarcia, according to documents reviewed by STAT. Luxin invested $30 million in the company’s 2016 venture round. (Sheridan and Feuerstein, 1/12)
Health Tech Experts Explain Why Trust Is Crucial For Clinical AI Tools
It was a slight departure from the usual Consumer Electronics Show panel: Rather than touting the latest health gadgets that attendees have come to expect from the annual Las Vegas tech bonanza, panelists at a session on trust in AI for health care grappled with how to ensure the tools don’t worsen inequality or create new problems for health care providers. (Brodwin, 1/12)