UK scientists may have discovered the world’s first cure for heart attacks using the same mRNA technology as COVID-19 vaccines.
The human heart has no ability to heal itself after a heart attack. But a new technique called genetic tracking — built on the same technology used to create Pfizer and Moderna’s COVID vaccines — can help new heart cells replace the dead ones and instead of forming a scar, develop new muscle tissue.
A team at King’s College London tracked genetic codes called mRNAs which are injected into the heart to produce proteins that would generate healthy heart cells, the Daily Mail reported.
“We are all born with a set number of muscle cells in our heart and they are exactly the same ones we will die with. Our goal has been to find a treatment that can convince surviving cells to proliferate,” lead researcher Professor Mauro Giacca was quoted as saying.
“Regenerating a damaged human heart has been a dream until a few years ago, but can now become a reality. We are using exactly the same technology as the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to inject micro RNAs to the heart, reaching surviving heart cells and pushing their proliferation,” Giacca said.
Besides helping hearts regenerate, the mRNAs also work towards a treatment to stop cells from dying during a heart attack.
Heart attack and stroke account for 85 per cent of 17.9 million deaths from cardiovascular diseases globally.
Scientists believe the new RNA (ribonucleic acid) therapy could revolutionize cardiovascular medicine and stop millions of heart attacks from progressing towards heart failure, the report said.
The technology, tested first to regenerate damaged pig hearts, has so far been successful. Tests on humans are due in the next two years.
The above article has been published from a wire agency with minimal modifications to the headline and text.