Blocked Arteries? Grow New Ones

Recent breakthroughs in gene therapy up the biotech ante

After years of failures in gene therapy, Dr. Jeffrey M. Isner and his colleagues at St. Elizabeth's Medical Center in Boston have scored an impressive advance. They are injecting growth genes near the clogged leg arteries of patients, triggering formation of new blood vessels to bypass the blockages. The report of the research on Nov. 9, at the American Heart Assn.'s annual scientific meeting, excited the medical Establishment--and upped the stakes in one of biotech's hottest races.

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