Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Gene Therapy for Erectile Dysfunction Shows Promise in Clinical Trial

The first human trial of gene transfer therapy for erectile dysfunction (ED) indicates that gene therapy that lasts for months and eliminates the patient’s need for on-demand drugs (such as Viagra and Cialis), could become the future treatment of choice for this common problem, according to a paper in the most recent issue of Human Gene Therapy.

Lead author Arnold Melman, M.D., professor and chair of the Department of Urology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University and Montefiore Medical Center, says, “This is an exciting field of research because current treatments for men with erectile dysfunction, whether pills or minimally invasive therapies, must be used ‘on demand’, thereby reducing the spontaneity of the sexual act.”

Erectile dysfunction affects more than 50 percent of men aged 40 to70 and 70 percent above age 70, according to the Massachusetts Male Aging Study.

Dr. Melman and two study centers worked with 11 men and administered various doses of a transfer gene called hMaxi-K. “While this phase 1 safety trial was not designed to provide efficacy answers, one patient in each of the higher dose groups (5000 and 7500 micrograms) reported clinically significant and sustained improvements in ED. And, there have been no adverse effects with the patients in the study, so it has been proven to be safe,” he adds.

... more about:
»Ion »Melman »hMaxi-K »therapy

Because there has been widely publicized adverse results using viruses as agents to transfer genes into humans, Dr. Melman has chosen to transfer the hMaxi-K gene using “naked DNA,” a form of circular DNA which remains independent and does not integrate with chromosomal DNA in the muscle cells.

“The hMaxi-K stimulates potassium ion transfer in the smooth muscle cells of the penis,” says Dr. Melman. The hMaxi-K gene works by creating additional potassium channels (the chemical symbol for potassium is ‘K’) in the smooth muscle cell of the penis. This relaxes the muscle and allows blood flow required for an erection.

“Because this novel therapeutic approach of ion channel therapy works on smooth muscle, it is also promising for overactive bladder disease,” adds Dr. Melman.

Dr. Melman, with George Christ, PhD, developed the process for ion channel therapy at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, which owns the patents. Montefiore is the academic medical center for Einstein. Einstein has granted licensing rights for the patent to a company called Ion Channel Innovations, which was founded by Dr. Melman, and under whose sponsorship the clinical trials are being conducted. The two study centers in the trials were Mount Sinai Medical Center and NYU Medical Center.

Karen Gardner | EurekAlert!
Further information:

Further reports about: Ion Melman hMaxi-K therapy

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht First time-lapse footage of cell activity during limb regeneration
25.10.2016 | eLife

nachricht Phenotype at the push of a button
25.10.2016 | Institut für Pflanzenbiochemie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Greater Range and Longer Lifetime

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VDI presents International Bionic Award of the Schauenburg Foundation

26.10.2016 | Awards Funding

3-D-printed magnets

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>