World-leading study utilises gene therapy to better treat Peripheral Artery Disease

27 Apr 2017
World-leading study utilises gene therapy to better treat Peripheral Artery Disease

The South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) and CMAX have embarked on a world-leading study to improve the treatment of a common circulatory condition, Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) and its associated leg pain, in partnership with Japanese company, I’rom Group.

What is PAD?

PAD is a common circulatory problem, where narrowed arteries reduce blood flow to the limbs. PAD will mean a person’s extremities — usually their legs — don't receive enough blood flow to keep up with demand. This causes symptoms, most notably leg pain when walking (claudication). 

It can also lead to very serious health complications, and in some cases, amputation of limbs.

A first of its kind in Australia

This study will deliver a gene that codes for an important factor that promotes the formation of new blood vessels.

The aim of this therapy is to encourage the body to form new blood vessels to transfer blood down to the feet.

SAHMRI’s Heart Health Theme Leader, Professor Steve Nicholls said that he is thrilled to be heading up this project. 

“This is a fantastic opportunity for SAHMRI to work with companies both inside South Australia and internationally,” Professor Nicholls said.

“PAD is a difficult condition to treat. We have limited choices for PAD patients if we can’t operate or insert stents. This trial gives a great opportunity for these patients to trial a different approach to restoring blood flow to the legs.”

Who we’re looking for

SAHMRI and CMAX are seeing 18 patients to participate in this study, who can meet the following main selection criteria: 

  • Male or female participants aged ≥ 40 years 
  •  Diagnosis of PAD secondary to atherosclerosis 
  • Claudication symptoms of stable severity for at least 3 months 
  • Able to undertake treadmill exercise
  • Do not have poorly controlled diabetes mellitus 
  • No history of CHF or presence of CHF as defined by modified Framingham criteria class II-IV 
  • Do not have uncontrolled hypertension, defined as ≥ 180 systolic or ≥ 90 diastolic mmHg 
  • Free from unstable angina within 3 months of screening 
  • Have not suffered from a TIA or stroke within 3 months prior to screening 

Please call 1800 150 433 if you think you may be eligible for this trial.