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Change of Heart (Genes)

Verve Therapeutics, a biotech focused on using gene editing to treat cardiovascular disease, has launched with a $58.5 million investment led by Alphabet's venture capital division, GV, Reuters reports.

In a statement, the firm says it will be developing gene-editing therapies to treat coronary artery disease in adults. "Poor adherence, costs, side effects, limited access ... all these challenges have limited the impact existing heart medications like cholesterol-lowering statins have had," Sekar Kathiresan, a cardiologist and geneticist at Massachusetts General Hospital, who will take on the CEO spot in July, tells Reuters. "With our therapy, we could change the treatment paradigm for heart disease from chronic care, daily pills or monthly injections to a one-and-done approach."

According to Reuters, the firm says it will use the funds it raised to begin testing in animal models, though it notes that it would be years before Verve would be able to market therapies.

Other investors include Arch Venture Partners, F-Prime Capital, and Biomatics Capital, the firm adds.