Public Release: 

Gene therapy study underway at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital

Therapy explores body's ability to grow new blood vessels

UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

A 56-year-old East Brunswick, New Jersey man has become the first patient to enter a Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital research study of a gene therapy product, called Ad5FGF-4, designed to stimulate the body's natural ability to grow new blood vessels.

Dr. Abel Moreyra, MD, Director of the Heart Center of New Jersey, administered a one-time, intracoronary injection by heart catheterization, giving the patient either Ad5FGF-4 or a placebo. In this double-blind study, neither Dr. Moreyra nor the patient knew whether the injection contained the investigational gene therapy product or the placebo.

After receiving the injection, the patient will be monitored during clinic visits for one year and followed afterward to determine the long-term effects of the product. Approximately 100 centers around the country are seeking to enroll 450 patients in this study.

The purpose of this experimental gene therapy study is to determine if Ad5FGF-4 can help stimulate the body's natural ability to grow new blood vessels in the heart, providing alternate routes for oxygenated blood to flow around narrow or blocked arteries.

Coronary artery disease affects more than 12 million Americans. More than half the people with coronary artery disease suffer from angina.

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Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, one of the nation's leading academic health centers, is the principal hospital for UMDNJ - Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and a member of the Robert Wood Johnson Health System & Network. For more information, please call the hospital's main phone number at 732-828-3000 or visit www.rwjuh.edu.

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