Gene Therapy

We have contributed to the initial clinical development of therapeutic angiogenesis for the treatment of advanced coronary artery disease under Dr. Matthew Watkins’ leadership. Our efforts focus on intracoronary delivery with the use of amodified viral vector of the gene FGF4 (fibroblast growth factor 4) targeting an angiogenic response in chronic, ischemic myocardium.

The first intracoronary gene therapy treatment in the United States was performed in our center, followed by publication of the report of an initial phase one trial (AGENT I) demonstrating safety and preliminary efficacy of the approach. A second, multi-center investigation has been completed. Results demonstrate a positive impact of treatment with FGF4 on myocardial perfusion. An international phase three trial of therapeutic angiogenesis employing intracoronary FGF4 gene therapy is currently underway. Dr. Watkins serves on the Steering Committee.