logo
Share SHARE
FONT-SIZE Plus   Neg

Breakthrough Discovery: First-Ever Treatment For Progeria Proves Promising

More than nine years have elapsed since scientists discovered the cause of Progeria - the deadly genetic condition of premature aging in children. Although as yet there is no cure, a drug originally developed for cancer has demonstrated efficacy in the first-ever clinical drug trial for children with Progeria.

Progeria, which is derived from the Greek word for old age, is an extremely rare disease and is estimated to affect approximately 1 in 4 - 8 million newborns. Children with progeria may suffer heart attacks and strokes as early as age 5 years, and their average life expectancy is just 13 years.

In the two-and-a-half year drug trial, twenty-eight children from sixteen countries were enrolled and they were treated with farnesyltransferase inhibitor lonafarnib, supplied by Merck & Co. (MRK: Quote) , given orally, twice-a-day over the course of the study.

According to the trial results, there were significant improvements in weight gain, bone structure and, most importantly, the cardiovascular system of the children.

Progeria is caused by a mutation in the gene called LMNA that produces a progerin protein, damaging the cell function. In children with progeria, a molecule called a "farnesyl group" gets attached to the progerin protein. The farnesyltransferase inhibitor drug is known to work by blocking the attachment of the farnesyl group onto progerin.

The study results were published September 24 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

by RTT Staff Writer

For comments and feedback: editorial@rttnews.com

Business News

Editors Pick
Internet giant Google Inc. (GOOGL, GOOG) has launched a new online flight search tool that makes it easy to find out the best flight deal. The tool dubbed "Google Flights" provides a calendar that one can scroll through and see the lowest fare highlighted for each day. One can also use the lowest... Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, a start-up that has adopted Elon Musk's ambitious project of high-speed transportation system, plans to build a Hyperloop test track in California and completed as early as 2016. Hyperloop Test Technologies, a crowd-funded company, plans to take Musk's dream... Colors have set the social media afire after an otherwise innocuous photo of a bodycon dress kept users guessing as to what hues permeate it. Opinions are divided, with some seeing the dress as white and gold, and others as blue and black. The photo was posted on Tumblr by a user called Swiked.
comments powered by Disqus
RELATED NEWS
Trade MRK now with 
Follow RTT