Gene therapy raises hopes of ED sufferers

May 15th, 2008 - 3:35 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, May 15 (IANS) A promising new gene therapy is likely to raise the hopes and more of those suffering erectile dysfunction (ED). Called the Maxi-K therapy, this locally administered gene-transfer technology has been validated by data from participants suffering from ED that failed to respond to any known therapy or treatment.

Researchers observed dramatic changes after Maxi-K therapy, including increases in the number of partial and full erections and a two-fold increase in erection duration.

An increase in intimacy was also seen. The data imply that increased erectile function per se may lead to increased sexual function.

Findings of the study are to be presented at the ongoing 103rd Annual scientific meeting of the American Urological Association (AUA).

Unlike conventional therapies, Maxi-K therapy does not require prior planning, fosters sexual spontaneity and can be used by men taking heart medication.

Researchers not only provided follow-up to previous studies on Maxi-K therapy in men, but also explored whether increased erectile function enhanced other areas of sexual behaviour.

In some men, the effect lasted up to six months. The gene therapy appears safe as no adverse events were reported more than two years after the transfer in some subjects.

As part of the study, male cynomulgus monkeys with ED were observed during their injection period and while in the presence of estrogen-implanted females.

“This study gives hope to men who experience ED but have not responded to oral therapies,” said Arnold Melman, one of the study’s authors.

“The importance of these observations in clinical and pre-clinical trials is that it appears that gene transfer with the Maxi-K channel enhances both erectile capacity as well as other important measures of sexual behaviour.”

The trial was conducted with 11 men aged between 18 and 65 years with moderate to severe ED.

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