SAN FRANCISCO—Researchers at the Gladstone Institute announced that they may have identified a potential drug for a debilitating heart condition. Dr. Deepak Srivastata, the president of the Gladstone Institute, started his research in 2005 when he started working with the Barron family from Texas.
The Barron family had a genetic heart condition that spanned five generations. Carmen Barron and her kids donated their skin and blood cell samples to Dr. Srivastava. On the Gladstone Institute’s website Dr. Srivastata states:
“If we could intervene early in life with an effective drug, we could potentially prevent the disease from occurring. By simply slowing the progression and shifting the age of people who require interventions by 5 or 10 years, we could avoid tens of thousands of surgical valve replacements every year.”
The researchers used a Nobel Prize-winning technology pioneered by Gladstone researchers that turn the skin samples into stem cells. The research team turned those stem cells into living heart cells. With the help of artificial intelligence and collaborators from Russia, the Gladstone team identified a single drug candidate. The drug may prevent the hardening of heart valves and if successful could be used to reverse heart disease.