An Amgen subsidiary may have found a rare gene that could drastically reduce the risk of heart attacks in the future.
DeCode Genetics, an Iceland-based subsidiary of Thousand Oaks biotech giant Amgen, uncovered a rare and unknown genetic variation in some people that could reduce the risk of heart attacks and lower cholesterol.
The variant on chromosome 17 was found through analysis of the genome and reviews of clinical data in Iceland. The gene variant was linked to a 35 percent reduction in heart attacks and coronary artery disease.
Researchers then looked at data from 300,000 other people in the Netherlands, Great Britain, Germany, New Zealand and the United States and found the gene also reduced the risk of heart attacks and coronary disease in those populations.
The findings could give the company a way to create drugs using the gene, researchers said in a news release. Heart disease is the world’s biggest cause of death, killing 7.4 million people in 2012, according to the World Health Organization.
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