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Somewhere in New Zealand, the first patient ever has been dosed with a kind of gene-editing treatment known as a base editor, a newer way of utilizing CRISPR for gene editing. The company studying the treatment, Verve Therapeutics, announced the news Tuesday.

The treatment is aimed at a relatively common form of high cholesterol that affects millions of people, a very different population than those normally treated with gene therapies. Eventually, Verve hopes that the treatment might be offered to people who have recently suffered heart attacks, or for other more common diseases.


“What we’re trying to do is really disrupt the way this disease is cared for and move it from chronic care … to one and done,” said Sekar Kathiresan, the geneticist and cardiologist who is Verve’s co-founder and CEO. “And this is really the first step in that journey.”

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