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Around 200 patients are being enrolled on a gene therapy trial. The trial will  test whether introducing genetic material into damaged heart cells can improve the cardiac cells function.

Researchers at Imperial College London found that levels of the protein SERCA2a are lower in patients with heart failure.

Royal Brompton Hospital is one of only two British centres taking part in the international study, The Golden Jubilee National Hospital in Glasgow being the other.

Before joining the trial Mrs Gedda had baseline measurements taken for her fitne

At Royal Brompton, the gene therapy is delivered at the NIHR biomedical research unit, via a coronary angiogram under local anaesthetic.

The researchers have ‘hidden’ the gene inside a genetically modified virus which is able to latch on to heart muscle cells but is believed to be entirely harmless.

The virus delivers the extra DNA into the nucleus of the heart cells. The hope is the gene will prompt the heart cells to produce more of the SERCA2a protein and repair some of the damaged heart muscle. Half of the patients will receive the gene therapy, while the rest will get a placebo or dummy drug.

The trial, known as CUPID2, is funded by the US biotechnology company, Celladon. It will be around three years before the results are known.

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